If the idea is approved by the city People’s Committee, it will be developed into a project to turn many main streets downtown into walking areas, Huynh Xuan Thu, director of the department told Tuoi Tre yesterday.
“The idea is not aimed at promoting walking but at reducing the circulation of personal vehicles.”
According to their proposal, three pedestrian areas will be set up in District 1, he said.
“The first will cover Tran Hung Dao, Pham Ngu Lao and Bui Vien streets; the second will comprise the Ben Thanh Market area and some streets surrounding it; and the last will embrace Dong Khoi, Nguyen Hue, Le Loi, Ton Duc Thang, Ham Nghi and Le Duan streets.”
He also answered some other questions from Tuoi Tre.
When will the idea be developed into a project? What do you anticipate about the response of people living in the designated areas?
If the city People’s Committee approves the idea, it will be developed into several projects, each with its own schedule for implementation. We have considered what effects those projects can have on local residents. Of course, their use of personal vehicles will be restricted, but they will enjoy a safer and healthier environment.
We will take measures to minimize the inconvenience the projects may cause to local residents as well as those who need to travel to the areas for business or other purposes.
When more green trees are grown in such areas, they will become more beautiful and attract a great deal more people to come to visit or purchase goods. This will bring benefit to businesses in the areas.
How can such projects be carried out?
They will be developed on a pilot basis in some areas, such as the “Phố Tây” (“foreigners’ quarters”) on some streets including Bui Vien and Pham Ngu Lao, the area around the Notre-Dame Cathedral, or the Ben Thanh Market area.
For the project to work effectively, we will need to re-arrange the public traffic system, change or upgrade the pavements, improve the lighting systems and the landscapes in pedestrian areas to make them pedestrian-friendly.
What will happen to vehicles owned by people living in such areas or by visitors?
There will be many parking lots where locals or visitors can leave their vehicles there before they walk home or to their offices.
However, trucks or other vehicles can enter the pedestrian areas for business purposes, for instance, delivering or receiving goods, but they must follow a timetable for such activities.