Bangkok mourns Sukhumvit’s only walkable sidewalk

It was like black obsidian, that sidewalk. You could practically moonwalk down it. Images: AntiHawkers / Facebook
It was like black obsidian, that sidewalk. You could practically moonwalk down it. Images: AntiHawkers / Facebook

Rare does the Bangkok pedestrian get to walk on a smooth, unbroken sidewalk, and few were more delightful than the stretch between Sukhumvit Road’s sois 2 and 4.

So it struck observers as strange when City Hall recently dispatched jackhammers to pound the pavement to pieces. It didn’t take long for some to ask: Why the hell?

“Even a beautiful walkway made with strong, durable materials that isn’t damaged couldn’t survive government demolition,” the admin of pro-walkability community wrote Saturday along with before-and-after photos in a post shared by thousands.  “Why smash it when it’s good?”

Update: Bangkok totally delighted by makeover of Sukhumvit’s best sidewalk

The sidewalk in question was built and paid for by the JW Marriott Hotel, and City Hall said its unbroken expanse of eminently walkable space (wait for it) … didn’t meet its standards.

A city official told Post Today the stretch of pristine pavement falls within a kilometer-long stretch between the railroad line and Asoke intersection marked for “improvement” relating to its project to underground power lines.

Learning to love Bangkok’s twisted blight (Photos)

The official said the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration must make sure all sidewalks are built to its standards with materials it can repair or replace in the future.

The street crusaders were not impressed, saying it was a waste of taxpayer money to demolish such a lovely footpath.

For user Ball Shiro, it was just more evidence of an out-of-touch government.

“I feel bad for our grandsons and daughters that grow up witnessing this government, that doesn’t care about the citizens’ welfare,” Ball wrote today.


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