Pattaya Walking Street threatened by mayor’s orders

Pattaya municipality has ordered the removal of advertising signs that obstruct emergency services' access to Walking Street. (Photo by Chaiyot Pupattanapong)

An order for the removal of advertising signs from Pattaya Walking Street deemed to obstruct access by fire engines and their crews has drawn a quick protest from businesses there.

The order signed by acting Pattaya municipal mayor Apichart Veerapan demands that all advertising signs found to be “non-standard” or illegally erected be removed by Aug 24, particularly those in public spaces and on rooftops.

Over 100 people voiced their complaint to news reporters on Tuesday, but did not give their names.

They said the mostly-neon signs add a colourful atmosphere to the street and attract tourists, who enjoy having their photos taken there at night against the background of gaudy lights.

The removal of the signs would drive away tourists, they said. The street would become dark and unattractive to visitors, adding to the problems already caused by the slump in tourism.

Two years ago, Pattaya municipality had conducted a test, driving fire trucks along Walking Street to see if they could pass through the area without hindrance. There were few problems as most of the signs were 5.2 metres or more above the ground, they said.

They had cooperated by removing the signs that had caused an obstruction or were not erected properly.

They felt it would be wrong if all advertising signs were removed. It would affect the tourism business as Walking Street was a magnet for tourists, who posted their photos on social media – just like they did at other tourist cities, the complainants said. – Bangkok Post

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