Khaosan Road vendors on Tuesday handed in a petition that asks Prime Minister General Prayuth Chan-o-cha to suspend the Phra Nakhon District’s order to ban footpath stalls from the sidewalks of Khaosan Road starting August 1 after a big cleaning event in the morning.
Earlier the same day, the vendors submitted the petition to Bangkok governor Aswin Kwanmuang, calling on the city’s administration to delay the order.
Following a talk involving the vendors and deputy governor Sakoltee Phattiyakul, the city’s administration remained firm on its decision to ban all stalls from sidewalks and only allow stalls and carts on roads from 6pm to midnight. It is part of a zoning plan by the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) to create order, regulate hygiene, build parking space for ambulances and return sidewalks to pedestrians.
The vendors are threatening to try and defy the ban.
“After the big cleaning event on August 1, we will set up stalls on footpaths as usual,” said Yada Pornpetrumpa, president of Khaosan Road Street Vendors Association. However, she said setting up stalls on the streets would likely prove impossible as “Chanasongkram traffic police will let all the cars into the streets”.
Not so, said Chanasongkram Police Station Superintendent Pol Colonel Chakkit Chosoongnoen. The traffic will remain the same [as usual] as during the day the street is shared by carts, tourists and automobiles.
He added that Chanasongkram Police Station will send two traffic police officers to patrol the street as requested by the Bangkok administration, but would not reveal how the police would act on the first day of the ban.
“On August 1, our traffic police will act as ordered from the BMA,” he said.
Chakkit said he regretted that the BMA had not discussed the ban with the Metropolitan Police Bureau before proclaiming it and asking police to enforce it. He added that turning the street into an “official” walking street at night may violate traffic regulations.