If you’ve ever been to Bangkok, you’ll notice something right away: cars, a lot of cars. The city of 9 million suffers from near round the clock gridlock. The government reckons that the road system can accommodate 1.6 million vehicles, but just last year alone over 7 million were registered — more than 4 times what the road network can handle!
Just your typical daily traffic in Bangkok. Image by Nicholas Chu.
So to avoid driving, many commuters take Bangkok’s elevated rapid transit system: the BTS Skytrain. For those who can afford it, park and ride is a popular option.
Not surprisingly, parking can sometimes be problematic, especially at the more popular stations like Mo Chit.
Parking Lot at Mo Chit station. Image by Flickr user Julius.Hibbert.
Since finding a parking spot during peak hours is incredibly difficult, locals have developed a very ingenious method of maximizing this limited resource. For those who park on the side of a roadway, as per local etiquette, drivers are expected to leave their cars in neutral so their cars can be pushed around by other motorists looking to park. And for those who park on a slope, you’ll need to slip rocks under your wheels to prevent it from sliding.
If you think that’s not bizarre or creative enough, many drivers have actually attached foam padding onto their bumpers so the cars aren’t scratched when being moved!
Foam bumpers. Image from news.voicetv.co.th.
Foam bumpers. Image from Matichon.
While I’m not sure if this concept will ever fly in North America, I’m personally always fascinated by how simple solutions can be used to solve everyday problems without the need to reinvent the wheel.
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