Strolling streets are usually not solely enjoyable and thrilling locations to be, additionally they maintain out the promise of financial rewards underneath the Prayut Chan-o-cha authorities’s plan to spice up progress amid worries concerning the world economic system.
The native economic system in three industrial areas of Bangkok is ready for a serious enhance due to a brand new strolling road undertaking that makes its debut this weekend.
Silom and Yaowarat roads can be changed into pedestrian-only zones at the moment whereas Khao San’s flip is tomorrow.
Underneath a plan supervised by the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA), Silom Highway can be a strolling road between midday and 10pm on the third Sunday of every month, beginning at the moment and operating till Could subsequent yr, when will probably be reviewed by authorities.
Yaowarat Highway, which was partially closed on Friday and Saturday, can be absolutely closed to autos at the moment from 7pm and midnight. Khao San Highway will grow to be a strolling road on Mondays from 5pm to midnight, beginning tomorrow.
In keeping with Inside Minister Anupong Paojinda, the strolling road undertaking is the initiative of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha who instructed the BMA and different provinces to carry occasions that can echo the spirit of group and generate earnings for locals.
The scheme is designed to be applied within the so-called “pracharat” trend which is a collaboration of state, non-public, social sectors and schooling establishments, he stated.
Gen Prayut is anticipated to be at Silom at the moment at about 6pm after which transfer on to Yaowarat. There are not any reviews that the prime minister will drop by Khao San Highway tomorrow.
Silom strolling road is anticipated to attract massive crowds on account of a variety of actions being deliberate.
Divided into six zones, the strip will provide quite a lot of merchandise comparable to arts and crafts, low cost items from Thong Fah retailers, and “Bangkok Model” and OTOP merchandise. Guests can stroll up and down the strip for music and cultural reveals and meals from native eateries together with Michelin-starred ones.
Yaowarat Highway, which is dwelling to a number of the greatest eating places and quite a lot of road meals, can be reworked right into a meals heaven.
aerial eats: Native and overseas vacationers watch with intrigue as a vendor tosses meals up within the air earlier than catching it in a wok.
In keeping with Athitaya Chokkijmanaschai, assistant director of Samphanthawong district, Plaeng Nam Highway, which is an entry street from the MRT’s Wat Mangkorn station, may even be closed at the moment to take guests.
At Khao San, the strip is designed to showcase arts and cultural performances — comparable to khon masked dances, Thai boxing matches, and cooking demonstrations.
Suriyachai Rawiwan, director of Phra Nakhon district, stated meals carts won’t be allowed inside Khao San Highway.
In keeping with Deputy Bangkok governor, Sakoltee Phattiyakul, the pedestrian-only zone in Khao San space is prone to be prolonged to incorporate Tanao and Sip Sam Dangle roads, and autos can go solely after 2am.
Gen Anupong stated whereas Bangkok’s strolling road scheme is making its debut this week, these within the provinces can be launched concurrently subsequent Sunday.
Inside everlasting secretary Chatchai Promlert has been assigned to coordinate with provincial governors to carry their very own variations of strolling streets which can cater to all age teams, he stated.
“It’s a road of happiness for distributors and patrons. And it’ll provide actions that mirror cultures or spirit of local people,” he stated.
In keeping with Gen Anupong, the strolling road undertaking within the provinces is anticipated to be held till the brand new yr festivity and a minimum of as soon as a month all through subsequent yr. The plan is anticipated to draw extra vacationers and spur them into spending more cash, which in flip will enhance the native economic system.
Distributors elevate doubts
Nevertheless, the BMA’s plan to show Silom, Yaowarat and Khao San roads into strolling streets to spice up tourism and the economic system in these industrial areas is drawing a combined response from native distributors.
Some welcome the plan whereas others query how a lot it should profit them. They ask how lots of the capital’s residents who dwell within the suburbs will need to journey all the way in which to the centre simply to fill their stomachs.
Banchong Tasawat, 61, proprietor of a garments store on Silom Highway, stated she helps the plan to show Silom right into a strolling road on weekends because it may appeal to extra folks to return and spend within the space.
“The variety of my prospects and gross sales have fallen sharply for the reason that starting of this yr on account of a sluggish economic system. I am undecided how a lot this undertaking goes to assist to enhance the scenario, however it’s nonetheless higher than doing nothing, so I help it,” she stated.
Ms Banchong stated she’s nonetheless ready for registration particulars from authorities however no BMA officers have contacted her but.
“Most distributors on Silom Highway solely realized about this undertaking by means of the information and we nonetheless have no idea how we will register or if we will nonetheless promote stuff on footpaths. I believe the BMA shouldn’t be doing sufficient by way of PR,” she stated.
Pikul Boon-eye, 49, a present store proprietor in Soi Convent on Silom Highway, stated she believes the brand new pedestrian market can be a giant assist as a result of native distributors will have the ability to promote with out having to fret about road legal guidelines whereas patrons may even have the ability to stroll and store on the road with out having to fret about visitors.
“Each time Silom Highway is changed into a strolling road, numerous folks come. I believe the final time was in 2015 and it was profitable. My gross sales elevated dramatically throughout that interval and I hope will probably be the identical this time,” she stated.
Nevertheless, Sompong Boonmee, 58, a fruit vendor in Soi Saladaeng on the identical street, stated she would not suppose the undertaking will profit her and different distributors within the space a lot as a result of workplace employees want locations to eat on weekdays whereas they’re at work, not simply at weekends when they’re prone to be at dwelling resting.
not impressed: Kampan Bhokasang, 37, who sells grilled candy corn within the Silom space, shouldn’t be thrilled by the strolling road scheme. Her enterprise has been badly damage by strict guidelines governing using pavements and she or he needs to promote items on the sidewalks on weekdays as earlier than.
“Not so many individuals will need to journey all the way in which to town centre simply to fill their stomachs on Saturday or Sunday. They could come within the first few weeks, however after that, they may simply go to air-conditioned department shops. This isn’t a sustainable solution to resolve the issue,” she stated.
Ms Sompong stated she thought the federal government ought to deal with measures that assist folks hold more cash of their pockets fairly than attempting to spice up spending when individuals are tightening their belts. “Many individuals at the moment are attempting to chop pointless bills, keep dwelling and prepare dinner their very own meals as a result of their incomes have dropped whereas the price of residing has elevated. If the federal government can not resolve the foundation reason behind the issue, it isn’t going to assist a lot,” she stated.
Kampan Bhokasang, 37, a fried corn and banana vendor, stated a few years in the past she used to make greater than 10,000 baht per day by promoting corn and banana, however the quantity has dropped to 1,000 to 2,000 baht per day in recent times. “BMA’s coverage to reclaim the streets from distributors has affected us for a few years. We do not need strolling streets on weekends, however we would like the BMA to permit road distributors to promote on sidewalks on weekdays as earlier than,” she stated.
Warin Kamolwaran, 45, proprietor of a noodle stall on Yaowarat Highway, stated the brand new strolling road won’t make any distinction to her enterprise as a result of numerous folks all the time come to Yaowarat on weekends to eat.