Sunday, June 15, 2008


Text and picture ©Eki Qushay Akhwan

In an ever diminishing number of functioning sidewalks, it's good to see one that's really functioning like this one on Jalan Braga (Braga Street).

A functioning sidewalk is very essential for a city. It's not only the place where pedestrians can walk safely, but also a place where people can actually meet and interact. Unfortunately, slack law enforcement has made most Bandung sidewalks dysfunctional. They are used by kaki lima (K-5 for short, literally means five feet) - street traders of all kinds who encroach the pedestrians' right of safe passage. Not only have K-5 traders forced the pedestrians to walk where they should not - the streets - and jeopardized their safety, they have also destroyed the sidewalks and made them dirty. It's high time that the city's administration did consistent and stringent law enforcement about it.

We, citizens and taxpayers, pay for the high cost of the construction and maintenance of sidewalks. Yet, when it comes to using them, we are pushed away to our perils by these K-5 traders. They make profit from the facilities we gave them and pay no taxes for the profit they are making. It's unfair. K-5 should be banished from the sidewalks and relocated to a designated place to do their business.

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