Ministry Submits Plan for Car-Free Nights Along River

Pedestrians will have free reign on weekend nights along Phnom Penh’s prime riverfront artery if a new Ministry of Tourism plan is approved.

The proposal submitted by the ministry to City Hall recommends closing Sisowath Quay from the Royal Palace to the Post Office on Saturday and Sunday from 5 p.m. to 2 or 3 a.m. the next morning, Tourism Minister Thong Khon said on Thursday.

“We want to have a footpath for tourists in Phnom Penh, because tourists have them in other cities,” he said, citing Siem Reap’s Pub Street as one example.

There was no timetable for City Hall to make a decision on the plans, Mr. Khon said.

Although the area already has a large pedestrian space, Mr. Khon said the weekend traffic closure would help beautify the city and draw new visitors who would no longer have to dodge heavy traffic.

“Tourists will really like it,” he said. The ministry is also considering a similar proposal for Sihanoukville, but has not announced any specific location for a promenade, the minister said.

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