Bangkok Bicycle City
‘Bangkok Bicycle City’ is a urban planning project examining the links between the unconnected transportation systems. This project decoded each layers of the transportation systems whether canal boats, river ferries, railways, buses, taxies and Bangkok’s unique motorcycle taxies. And layering them back to see if the bike lanes can become the connectors between all those disconnected systems.
What do you do when the traffic is so bad that ‘traffic jam’ is considered one of the charms of your city?
‘Bangkok Bicycle City’ attempts eradicate the infamous ‘Bangkok traffic jam’ from the city by seeing the transportation systems of this city as a single interconnected living organism. It is part of an on-going project of decoding Bangkok’s DNA, one layer at a time. This project foresees a network of bicycle lanes to be use as connectors between all the disconnected modes of transportation in Bangkok.
Just like most large cities in the world, Bangkok can be divided into two different layers based on its density – the urban core and the suburban areas. Currently, these two layers are linked by three rail lines which end at the edge of the urban core. This is the reason why majority of the residence of Bangkok still drive to work. Within the urban core, all automobile traffic from the suburban areas convenes into its small streets.
There need to be a better way to move the residence of the suburban areas to the rail lines and disperses them into the urban core.
We foresee two different systems of bicycle lanes for Bangkok. The suburban areas will be served by a network of ‘green bikeways’ or ‘bicycle superhighways’. These types of bicycle lanes are intended for fast moving bicycles for longer distance. It is meant for getting from point to point as quick as possible. These routes are to be built along the existing highways, separated by greenery to provide safety to the cyclists at the same time add the much needed green spaces to Bangkok.
The urban core will be served by a network of protected bicycle lanes that are either claimed from road surfaces or sit within the existing median or created into the sidewalk where possible. Depending on its local conditions, there are several typologies of the urban bicycle lanes. These routes are created first to provide maximum safety for both pedestrians and cyclists. And also provide convenience for cyclists to getting around the city.
One observation that we see from the existing bicycle lane is the uncontrollable crossing of traffics. Normal bicycle lane for Bangkok is located on the left side of the road. This creates the problems such as pedestrians crossing path with cyclists and collision with cars illegally parked on the bicycle lane. As the buses also stop on the left side of the road, there is also a problem with bus riders having to cross path with the bicycles when boarding and alighting the bus.
In our system, protected bicycle lanes are located on the right side of oneway roads and in the median of two-way roads. These eliminate the problem of path crossing with the pedestrians and the bus riders, giving everyone the much needed safety. This also prevent the accidental collision between cyclists and drivers opening the doors of their cars.
For the design of the new bicycle paths, we have deciphered a method of route matching as follow:
If the road is 8 lane or wider, a ‘green bikeways’ or ‘bicycle superhighway’ will be built along these routes on both sides of the roads.
If the road is 6 lane, a green bikeways will be built in the median of the road where existing condition is allowed.
If the road is 4 lane, a protected bicycle path will be built along the roads. The design of this road will depended upon the existing conditions of each road, whether is it in and urban core or the suburban areas.
If the road is 2 lane or smaller, a painted bicycle path will be defined according to the needs of a specific route.
We are hoping that by creating these bicycle networks in combination with the existing and the expanding transportation infrastructures, we can eradicate the infamous traffic jam and made it a nostalgic story for the next generations of Bangkokians.