Sidewalks reclaimed

Literal red lines issued for Erbil shopkeepers

ERBIL – Addressing the persistent issue of shopkeepers encroaching on public sidewalks, Erbil Municipality has implemented a straightforward measure: delineating shop boundaries with literal red lines in various major markets around the city. This action underscores a clear message: respect public space or face penalties.

Karezan Abdulhadi, head of Erbil Municipality, shared with 964 that this initiative is part of a broader effort to manage sidewalk congestion and ensure public walkways remain accessible. The red lines, now visible in areas such as the Sheikh Mustafa and Sheikhalla markets, the Flour Sellers Market, Nishtiman, and the area around the Erbil Citadel, are drawn in collaboration with local police forces.

The decision comes against a backdrop of shopkeepers frequently extending their displays far beyond their storefronts, encroaching on pedestrian areas. “This enforcement will continue,” Abdulhadi stated, emphasizing the municipality’s commitment to this campaign. Shopkeepers found in violation of these boundaries will be subjected to legal action.

Additionally, Abdulhadi referenced a recent fire in the Langa Market, noting that the initiative to clear sidewalks had indirectly aided in controlling the fire, despite some shopkeepers’ reluctance to comply. The incident highlights the broader implications of maintaining clear public spaces.

The cleanup and enforcement operation in Langa Market is slated for completion within the next six days.