Opinion: Bangkok's Super Skywalk will be Heaven On Earth

Bangkok has decided to build a super skywalk, an elevated walkway to allow pedestrians to avoid the whole chaos on the pavement down below. ...

Bangkok has decided to build a super skywalk, an elevated walkway to allow pedestrians to avoid the whole chaos on the pavement down below. It's an excellent idea which will make the walking experience of Bangkokians better.

A pavement in developed countries is used for walking on. In Bangkok, the casual observer could swear that it was designed for everything else but pedestrians, filled with road side stalls, food carts, pot holes and motorcycles racing on the footpath trying to avoid the city's hopeless traffic.

In a bid to provide people actual walking space, the local administration decided to build a "super walkway", an elevated walkway covering 50 kilometers of the city's congested roads. It's not a new idea - there's already several kilometers of elevated walkway covering the central shopping district, sitting below the BTS skytrain system and linking a whole chain of shopping malls together.

I think it's a great project. The pavement is hopeless and to be fair, there are tens of thousands of people who depend on selling stuff on the street to make a living. It would seem unlikely that the government could muster enough political will to either evict thousands of vendors, or to implement a Singapore-styled model where all street vendors are put together in hawker centres.

Walking up higher than the road also helps to make the walk easier and less intoxicating, avoiding most of the fumes that cars and 50 year old buses belch out. It's also simply faster, as existing sky walks are well maintained, meaning there are no open drain covers, pot holes or any of the other hazards associated with Bangkok walking.

The only problem is whether the government will be able to keep the street hawkers and other vendors from moving upstairs, otherwise the sky walk would become another congested problem in itself. Let's hope they do.



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K Bulsuk: Full Speed Ahead: Opinion: Bangkok's Super Skywalk will be Heaven On Earth
Opinion: Bangkok's Super Skywalk will be Heaven On Earth
K Bulsuk: Full Speed Ahead
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