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Bangkok’s Groundbreaking Sidewalk Revolution: BMA’s Plan for Universal Mobility and Accessibility

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When the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) shared their latest announcement on social media at the stroke of 11am, the online world buzzed with applause. It wasn’t just any routine update – this was a proclamation that promised to bring about a much-needed transformation to the streets of Bangkok. Residents of the bustling city, who have long navigated sidewalks that seemed more like obstacle courses, could hardly contain their excitement. The message was clear: Change was coming, and not a moment too soon.

Traverse Bangkok’s sidewalks today and you’ll find a patchwork of challenges. From the frustrating absence of slopes for wheelchair accessibility to the jarringly high edges that seem to mock those attempting to wheel themselves onto the paths, it’s an accessibility nightmare. But the issues don’t end there. These pedestrian paths seem to play host to an array of impromptu obstacles – utility poles, unpredictable tree roots, and a bewildering assortment of urban clutter lie in wait for the unsuspecting passerby. And for the visually impaired, the journey is made even more daunting by the lack of guidance systems. It’s no small wonder then that the outcry over sidewalk conditions consistently tops the list of grievances addressed to the city’s administration.

In an enthusiastic response, the BMA laid out a master plan – a blueprint for inclusivity, starting with a significant overhaul of the city’s sidewalks. This ambitious project, initially rolling out as a pilot on 16 key roadways, aims to reclaim the sidewalks for every Bangkok resident. The scope of improvements is broad and thoughtful, addressing long-standing barriers to access and mobility.

The city has committed to a sweeping array of enhancements, from the practical to the profound. Sidewalks will no longer tower at a daunting 18.5cm; instead, they’ll be brought down to a more friendly height of 10cm. Building entrances and alleyways will follow suit, ensuring that those on wheels find a seamless transition from street to structure. The materials beneath our feet will get an upgrade too, with sidewalks reinvented in 10cm of durable cement, reinforced by sturdy iron bars.

But the changes don’t stop at mere level adjustments and material improvements. The BMA envisages a city where every sidewalk is a welcoming path for wheelchair users, with no entrance left to bar their way. Slopes will align with international standards, ensuring a gentler, more manageable incline. The tactile world will be enriched for the visually impaired, with braille bricks to guide their steps. Even the city’s rainwater drainage will see a redesign, the new horizontal drains blending seamlessly with the surface to prevent unwelcome encounters of the wet kind.

Another highlight includes the makeover planned for the green residents of our sidewalks – the trees. Their root-protected borders will transition to porous asphalt, ensuring that neither root nor human is hindered in their passage. With these changes, Bangkok is setting the stage for sidewalks that aren’t just passable but truly accessible to all.

Through this post, the BMA has sent an unequivocal message: It has heard the people’s voices. Striding towards a future where every Bangkokian, regardless of their physical abilities, can navigate the city with ease and dignity. It’s an endeavor that speaks volumes, promising not only improved infrastructure but a step closer toward a more inclusive urban environment. As Bangkok’s sidewalks prepare to undergo this transformative journey, the city itself stands on the brink of a new era – one where accessibility and mobility go hand in hand, making way for a truly universal Bangkok.


  1. CityWalker April 7, 2024

    Finally, some good news! Bangkok’s sidewalks have been a nightmare for too long, especially for those of us with disabilities. This plan sounds like a real step towards inclusivity.

    • Skeptic101 April 7, 2024

      Sounds great in theory, but I’ll believe it when I see it. The BMA has made promises before. What makes this time any different?

      • OptimistPrime April 7, 2024

        I think the detailed plan and the specific commitments they’ve outlined this time make it different. Plus, there’s public pressure now more than ever.

    • CityWalker April 7, 2024

      True, there’s always a gap between promise and execution. But acknowledging the problem is a start. Let’s hope they follow through.

  2. GreenThumb_Ray April 7, 2024

    I’m all for accessibility, but what about the greenery? I hope the redesign doesn’t mean cutting down trees. Our city needs more green, not less.

    • NatureLover April 7, 2024

      The article mentioned using porous asphalt around trees to protect roots. Sounds like they’re trying to balance accessibility with green space, which is reassuring.

  3. BudgetWatch April 7, 2024

    Sure, the plan sounds amazing, but who’s paying for all of this? I hope this doesn’t mean a hike in our taxes.

    • EconMajor April 7, 2024

      Investing in infrastructure, especially for inclusivity and accessibility, usually pays off in the long term. Improved sidewalks could boost local businesses too.

  4. AvidJogger April 7, 2024

    My concern is about the maintenance. It’s not just about building it; it’s about keeping it in good shape. The current state is partly due to negligence.

  5. LocalYogi April 7, 2024

    This is great news! As someone who practices outdoor yoga, smoother sidewalks mean safer commutes to my favorite spots by the river. Excited to see the changes.

  6. HistoryBuff April 7, 2024

    While modernizing is essential, I hope the BMA considers the cultural aspects of the city. Bangkok’s charm is in its blend of old and new, and the sidewalks are a part of that.

  7. TechieTrevor April 7, 2024

    Introducing braille bricks is a fantastic idea! Technology and thoughtful design can make a huge difference in making cities more livable for everyone.

    • DigitalNomad April 7, 2024

      Absolutely! Incorporating technology for accessibility should be a priority in all public planning. It’s about time we use innovation for good.

  8. DailyCommuter April 7, 2024

    I wonder how this will affect traffic during the construction phase. Bangkok is already congested enough.

    • RoadWarrior April 7, 2024

      That’s a valid point. Maybe they’ll do it in phases to minimize disruption? Either way, short-term pain for long-term gain.

  9. SustainabilitySteve April 7, 2024

    Using durable materials and redesigning for rainwater drainage are steps in the right direction for sustainability. It’s essential we build with climate change in mind.

  10. ConcernedParent April 7, 2024

    As a parent, I’m relieved. I’ve always worried about my kids tripping on those uneven sidewalks. It’s a small change that’ll make a big difference in our daily walks to school.

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