Apart from traffic and lighting difficulties, Narit wants the government to close the street to autos to protect tourist safety. Business owners on Pattaya Walking Street have accused the authorities of creating a public nuisance and sullying the city’s reputation due to an unfinished road reconstruction project. If the Pattaya Walking Street Business Association wants to maintain its public image, the road must be completed faster than the current schedule and more street lights installed.

On Wednesday, Narit Petcharat, president of the Pattaya Walking Street Business Association, met with a group of business owners to discuss the unfinished road work. In January, Pattaya officials announced that 80 percent of the rehabilitation of Pattaya Walking Street, overseen by former city mayor Sontaya Klunpluem, had been completed. The project’s suspension, according to Narit, is due to a local election issue. A mayoral election was held in Pattaya on May 22, however the city was unable to announce the results due to the disappearance of voting papers in numerous districts. According to the mayor, electric and communication lines were buried below, the street was rebuilt, footpaths were painted, drainage was improved, and a retractable roof was constructed, allowing people to enjoy the street at all hours of the day and night. Sontaya, on the other hand, did not provide a definite completion date for the modifications. He claims that both Thai and foreign visitors enjoyed Pattaya Walking Street, but that many were disappointed by the road’s and walkways’ incompleteness, as well as the lack of street lighting. He argues that the accusations are damaging the city’s image and that the concerns must be handled as quickly as possible. He demands that all of the work be completed and ready by August because the number of tourists is expected to continue to climb. On June 12, a new election is scheduled for those districts, and Narit is hoping that the unfinished work will be completed at that time.

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