The Siem Reap provincial government has issued new guidelines to organise and clean up the popular Pub Street tourist area after labelling its current state as anarchic.
Siem Reap Provincial Governor Khim Bun Song issued the guidelines on Monday, informing business owners on Pub Street and taxi drivers to clean up their acts.
Mr Bun Song said in his letter that business owners and motorists have in the past encroached upon the street with illegal signs, electrical wires and parking lots, all of which must be remedied.
“These actions have seriously impacted public order,” he said in the letter. “They have caused a loss of beauty and increased road traffic, eliminated sidewalks, caused accidents, and inhibited the implementation of road traffic laws.”
Mr Bun Song’s guidelines have instructed business owners to cease operation of illegal parking lots, remove illegal electrical wiring and signage, and also advised taxi drivers to respect the rules of the road.
The Siem Reap energy department must re-organise the electricity network, the letter added. A 14-year-old girl died during Khmer New Year when she touched an improperly wired sign belonging to a Spa.
Vann Ly, who works in the nearby Old Market, said bringing order to the popular Pub Street would benefit business owners and tourists.
“Pub Street is always crowded because the motorcycle taxi or tuk-tuk drivers wait for their customers without order,” she said. “It makes it hard for everyone to find parking. It’s okay for foreigner tourists because they walk, but local tourists have bikes and cannot navigate the road.”
Voeun Phiren, chief of the provincial Independent Democracy of Informal Economy Association chapter, which represents taxi drivers, said his members already comply with all requests made by authorities.
“For IDEA members, I have always called on them to learn about traffic laws and not stop or park where they will cause congestion,” he said.