Rental motorbikes line up along Pattaya Beach Road, occupying public parking spaces.

PATTAYA, Thailand – Residents of Pattaya are increasingly alarmed by the occupation of public parking spaces along Pattaya Beach Road by motorcycle rental businesses. Concerns are raised that these businesses are monopolizing public areas for profit, severely limiting parking availability for both tourists and locals.

Residents cite instances where motorcycle rental operators routinely park 20 to 50 motorcycles along the beach road, often spilling into the street and blocking access to side alleys. This misuse not only violates the intended purpose of public parking but also causes congestion and inconvenience for pedestrians and drivers.

Independent observations by reporters confirmed these grievances, with rows of motorcycles occupying public parking spots. Pol. Lt. Col. Panupon Nimsuwan, a traffic inspector from Pattaya Police Station, clarified that existing laws hinder authorities from penalizing these businesses unless motorcycles are illegally parked in marked zones or beyond designated boundaries. Regular inspections are conducted, and fines are imposed uniformly on violators irrespective of vehicle type.

Traffic police stand watch over rental motorbikes parked on Pattaya Beach Road secured with chains through their wheels.

According to the Land Traffic Act of 2019, local governments such as Pattaya City have the jurisdiction to regulate public parking. Formal regulations could empower authorities to impose fines specifically targeting businesses misusing public spaces for commercial gain. Currently, operators justify their actions by citing seasonal rental demands and informal understandings with local authorities regarding permissible parking areas.

Nevertheless, Pol. Lt. Col. Jirawat Sukonthasap, Director of Pattaya City’s Administrative and Peacekeeping Division, disputes these justifications, emphasizing ongoing efforts to formulate rigorous regulations in response to numerous complaints. These forthcoming measures aim to impose stricter controls on motorcycle parking and ensure compliance with formalized rules.

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