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Jakarta Post

Pedestrians, vendors: Unite for more, wider sidewalks!

  • Rita Padawangi


Singapore   /   Mon, September 16, 2019   /  10:25 am
Pedestrians, vendors: Unite for more, wider sidewalks! Residents eat meals sold by street vendors during Car Free Day in Hotel Indonesia Traffic Circle area in Central Jakarta on May 5, 2019. (Antara/Aprilio Akbar)

“Flowers of life/Bountifully growing on sidewalk/Flourishing wild, everywhere/Furious steps approaching/Destroying fragrance of flowers/You stand still, powerless/My flower/Wild flower/My flower/Sidewalk flower.” Fans of Iwan Fals would be familiar with the lyrics of “Bunga Trotoar” (Sidewalk Flower) on street vendors and the frequent threat of raids against them. A recent Supreme Court ruling annulled a Jakarta bylaw that allowed street vending in favor of individual plaintiffs of the Indonesian Solidarity Party (PSI). Proponents of the ban cited at least two reasons: First, street vendors disturb other people’s right to use the sidewalk, primarily pedestrians. Second, street vendors commercialize sidewalks for their own economic benefit at the expense of others’ access. When I reflect on how to make a good city, the contestation between stre...

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the official stance of The Jakarta Post.