City hall pledges cleanup of Walking Street touts, vendors

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Pattaya City Hall is taking another stab at cleaning up Walking Street amid rampant complaints about touts, pick-pockets, ladyboys, flower sellers and other riff-raff.

At a March 30 meeting with Walking Street’s board of directors, Deputy Mayor Ronakit Ekasingh said a proposal awaiting approval would have Pattaya police, tourist police and municipal enforcement officers jointly ticket and arrest on sight pornographic DVD sellers, sex-show touts, beggars, flower sellers and other street vendors from 7 p.m. to 3 a.m.

Police are pushing for clearance to arrest on site street vendors, like the flower seller left, and sex-show touts, like the man to the right.

Barriers will also be erected on side streets to prevent cars from entering the zone during evening hours and officers were assigned to inspect signage so it’s in compliance with height regulations.

Ronakit said the Public Health and Environment Office would take over responsibility for garbage collection and city hall has set aside funds for more officers to secure the street from 3-8 a.m.

Walking Street community head Sunthorn Kangsirikul agreed many of the street vendors and beggars are nuisances to tourists. He also requested more help in corralling the many transvestites and motorcycle taxi drivers congregating on the 850-meter promenade who also draw copious numbers of complaints from visitors.

Some of the street entertainers will be allowed to stay, however. The deputy mayor said a dozen artists will be allowed to perform behind the Siam Bayshore Hotel, including magicians, kids with footballs and people painted up as robots.

Tourist Police commander Col. Arun Phrompan said six CCTV cameras have been installed on Walking Street to help patrol officers.