Infrastructure: Thimphu thromde will, starting today, fix rubber bumpers or speed breakers in Langjophakha in Thimphu on a pilot basis.

A total of 16 metres of rubber bumpers will be fixed within a week. A metre of the rubber bumper costs about Nu 3,000.

An engineer with the thromde, Ugyen Lhamo, said that the length requirement of the speed bumps depend on the types of road in the city.

She said that if the rubber bumps function well, then the same would replace the existing speed bumps in the city.

However, for now, there are no plans to replace or remove the speed bumps in the city, including the 11 speed bumps/zebra crossings along Thimphu-Babesa expressway.

“We obtained views on the speed bumps from the experts from abroad visiting the country and the experts said that in the country where streetlights are limited, the bumps function well in reducing road accidents,” Ugyen Lhamo said. She also pointed out that police records show that there were many road accident cases along the expressway when there were no speed bumps.

She said that although speed bumps are not good for vehicles, going by Bhutanese driving culture, they are effective in keeping vehicle speeds down and at reducing road accidents.

Ugyen Lhamo said that there were plans to build underpasses in a few designated areas and remove the speed bumps/zebra crossings in the city. However, pedestrians do not use the two underpasses, one below the Swimming Pool Complex and the other at the junction below Changangkha Middle Secondary School in Thimphu.

Ugyen Lhamo said that Bhutanese avoid using underpasses because of traditional beliefs.

The government directed the thromde to revamp the existing underpasses and make it useable. “If people utilize the underpasses, only then can we go for construction of other underpasses in the city,” Ugyen Lhamo said.

In a recent meeting with the Road Safety and Transport Authority, thromde officials decided to replace the two zebra crossings located below the national referral hospital in Thimphu with a speed bump/ zebra crossing.

Ugyen Lhamo said that the move is to give priority to pedestrians who are mostly patients. “The drivers don’t give way to pedestrians crossing the roads on zebra crossing unless a uniform person is there to monitor at the spot.”

Dechen Tshomo