$43,300 prize to decongest Da Lat traffic

By Phuoc Tuan, Khanh Huong   January 27, 2021 | 04:51 pm PT
$43,300 prize to decongest Da Lat traffic
Vehicles are stuck around a roundabout in Da Lat during the 2017 Lunar New Year Festival. Photo by VnExpress/Thanh Nguyen.
Lam Dong Province is offering a grand prize of VND1 billion ($43,346) to whoever provides the best solution to traffic congestion in iconic Da Lat.

A competition to resolve traffic congestion in Da Lat, lasting until 2025 with a vision until 2035, was issued by the People’s Committee of the Central Highlands province Tuesday.

Participants are limited to within Vietnam. The committee would pick out the five best ideas to resolve traffic congestion, before choosing a feasible grand prize winner.

Ideas must outline methods to resolve traffic congestion while effectively utilizing Da Lat’s available land plots for infrastructure. The deadline falls on April 14.

Da Lat, a major tourist destination with fluctuating elevation, is the only Vietnamese city without traffic lights. But traffic congestion has been a problem in recent years, especially during the weekends or holidays, when tourists often flock to the location.

Lam Dong People’s Committee has requested its construction department to garner public opinion and choose a proper time to install traffic lights in certain locations with high traffic density.

In 2018, Da Lat already proposed a seven-story public parking space downtown, and considered banning coaches with over 45 seats from entering the heart of the city. But so far, none of these plans have come to fruition.

The city was originally designed to accommodate around 90,000 people back in the early 20th century, but its population has now ballooned to nearly 230,000 while receiving around seven million visitors a year, experts said.

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