Hanoi mulls banning vehicles around legendary lake

By Toan Dao   August 19, 2016 | 12:47 pm GMT+7
Hanoi mulls banning vehicles around legendary lake
The Hoan Kiem Lake in Hanoi. Photo by VnExpress/File photo

The plan to free up roads for pedestrians around Hoan Kiem Lake is pending approval.

Police in Hanoi have put forward a proposal to ban all vehicles from the roads around Hoan Kiem Lake during weekends to create more space for pedestrians.

The idea is to create a peaceful place, free of noise and emissions, for people to enjoy their time around the iconic lake.

Vehicles will be prohibited from entering Dinh Tien Hoang, Le Thai To and Hang Khay during weekends if the plan is approved, Vietnam News Agency reported on Thursday, quoting Dao Vinh Thang, the director of the city's Traffic Police Department.

There is less traffic around the lake at weekends, so the plan is reasonable, Thang said, adding that the proposal has been submitted to the municipal government for approval.

Hoan Kiem Lake is centrally located and a few minutes walk from the Old Quarter.

Legend has it that in the mid-15th century, a golden turtle god surfaced and asked Emperor Le Thai To to give back a magical sword, he had been given to drive away Chinese invaders.

The turtle then grabbed the sword and disappeared into the lake. The Turtle Tower (Thap Rua), which stands on a small island near the center of lake, is linked to the legend. There is also the Temple of the Jade Mountain on Jade Island, which is connected to the shore by The Huc Bridge.

Hanoi has already opened ten pedestrian streets in the Old Quarter, which have become popular places for visitors to the capital.

At a conference in late June, authorities laid out plans to gradually reduce the number of private vehicles in the capital and even ban motorcycles by 2025.

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