Silom, Khao San, Yaowarat roads to become 'walking streets'
Latest scheme to boost tourist numbers slated for next month
The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) is planning to turn Silom, Yaowarat and Khao San roads into pedestrian-only zones on certain hours next month, as a part of its bid to boost tourist numbers and the local economy.
Deputy Bangkok governor Sakoltee Phattiyakul said that Silom Road will be turned into a "walking street" between noon and 10pm on the third Sunday of each month. The trial period will begin on Dec 15 and will run until May next year, when it will be reviewed by relevant authorities.
Yaowarat Road will be closed to vehicular traffic on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays between 7pm and midnight for a three-month trial period, starting on Dec 13, he said.
"On Fridays and Saturdays, one lane in each direction [on Yaowarat Road] will be reserved for street food vendors," Mr Sakoltee said. "On Sundays, the road will be closed to through traffic."
Mr Sakoltee also said that Khao San Road will be turned into a walking street on Mondays from 5pm to midnight, starting on Dec 16.
"From Jan 16 onward, the pedestrian-only zone will be extended to include Tanao and Sip Sam Hang roads, and vehicles can only pass after 2am," he explained.
The deputy governor said that a stage will be set up in front of Chana Songkhram police station, where arts and cultural performances — such as khon masked dances, Thai boxing matches, or even cooking demonstrations — can be organised.
According to the deputy governor, BMA is also looking at the possibility of turning some roads in the Kudeejeen-Khlongsan area into walking streets every three months.
"We are discussing the details of the budget," he said.
Mr Sakoltee said he is confident the plan will attract more tourists and spur them into spending more money, which in turn will boost the local economy.
"On these walking streets, visitors will be able to find any food from well-known eateries and restaurants across the city," he said.
The deputy governor also said that BMA's Culture, Sports and Tourism Department and the Environment Department are planning to organise an outdoor music festival across the city's parks to celebrate dates and events, such as Valentine's Day.
"All district offices have been asked to name an area in their respective districts which has the potential to host such events," he said.