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Capital to construct 27 overpasses

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Two motorcyclists (left) ride against the traffic on a busy street in Phnom Penh’s Tuol Kork district as a new pedestrian overpass is seen in the background. The municipal hall says the capital will boast a total of 27 pedestrian overpasses. Hean Rangsey

Capital to construct 27 overpasses

Phnom Penh municipal governor Khuong Sreng said on Monday that the capital will boast a total of 27 pedestrian overpasses if the public approves the five now in the trial phase.

“Phnom Penh will have 27 [overpasses] at crowded places. We will build overpasses for the people or we will see whether we can construct lifts,” he told The Post.

Sreng said he could not confirm when the 27 pedestrian overpasses will be completed. But his administration will see whether the idea wins support from the public. Should the public support the idea, the overpasses will minimise risks from traffic accidents and reduce traffic congestion, he said.

The governor went to visit a pedestrian overpass near Phsar Doeum Kor in Tuol Kork district on Monday. He then posted on his Facebook that the public will soon get a gift from Prime Minister Hun Sen and his wife, which will reduce the risk of crossing a busy street.

“Step by step we have widened the streets, improved the underground infrastructure system and built overpasses. Currently, we are constructing overpasses at Chaom Chao to reduce traffic congestion,” he said about the city of three million.

He refuted comments that Cambodia has slow development. “Cambodia develops very fast under the leadership of Prime Minister Hun Sen who has applied win-win strategies that bring peace and development to the Kingdom,” he said.

Kim Pagna, the country director for AIP Foundation, a road safety NGO, applauded the construction of the pedestrian overpasses in the capital. He said annual deaths from road traffic accidents accounted for almost 10 per cent of total traffic deaths.

“In principle, pedestrians must be able to cross the street safely. So having pedestrian overpasses is very necessary, especially for children and elderly people,” he said.

Pagna also encouraged city officials to urge people to use the overpasses as he had seen them avoiding it even though it is readily available. He also urged the city to equip overpasses with lights and CCTV cameras to avoid unpredictable crimes at night.

“What I also want is to see the Phnom Penh administration check the sidewalks,” he said. “We can construct overpasses but pedestrians still face accidents. They must walk on the street because the sidewalk is filled with parked cars or occupied by a business.”

The Phnom Penh administration has to date constructed three pedestrian overpasses in Por Sen Chey district and near Olympic Stadium. Two more pedestrian overpasses are under construction at Phsar Doeum Kor and Santhormok along Kampuchea Krom Boulevard.

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