Sunday, June 6, 2010
Bandung's Irony 01
The writing on the blue billboard says: "Selling on the sidewalk and the street is prohibited. Bandung City Ordinance Number 6 of 1995." But look what happens. Corruptive practices (where it is said that some officers deliberately let these vendors sell on the prohibited areas in return for some illicit fees) and the lack of consistent law enforcement have turned many parts of the city into market slums that are - to say the least - unfriendly to pedestrians. They are often forced to walk on the body of the streets amidst the rushing traffic. "Pasar tumpah" (literally: spilling market, the name we give to this phenomenon) also seriously chokes the already congested traffic, especially during the rush hours and on holidays when visitors flock into the city in great numbers.
I am posting this in the hope that the city's government will soon be doing something serious and consistent about it. They need to negotiate terms with these vendors (like what has been done successfully by some other cities in Indonesia), provide them with proper spaces to conduct their businesses, and clean the sidewalks and streets so that they will be once again safe for pedestrians and motorists.