The Jakarta Post
The Pedestrian Coalition has criticized the Jakarta administration's move to allow street vendors to occupy sidewalks in Melawai, Kebayoran Baru, South Jakarta, saying such policies may sacrifice the interests of pedestrians.
Jakarta Deputy Governor Sandiaga Uno previously said street vendors were needed by pedestrians and employees working in nearby offices looking for affordable meals.
Offices in Melawai, including state-owned electricity firm PLN, did not provide such facilities, he said.
Sandiaga said the administration would provide space for pedestrians on the sidewalks.
The coalition’s chairman, Alfred Sitorus, said the need for affordable meals was not a good enough reason to allow street vendors to operate on sidewalks.
"It's true that pedestrians and residents need affordable meals, but that doesn't mean the city administration should open sidewalks to hawkers," Alfred said on Thursday.
The city administration should provide other spaces for the vendors and comply with a prevailing regulation on public order and the Traffic Law, he added.
"If pedestrians asked the administration to let hawkers do business on sidewalks in front of State Palace or embassy buildings, would the administration also grant such requests?" Alfred said.
Alfred said an increasing number of hawkers had occupied city sidewalks since the city administration closed Jl. Jatibaru Raya in December last year to accommodate street vendors.
The vendors could easily be found, among others, on sidewalks on Gatot Subroto and Pasar Minggu in South Jakarta, he added.