Hanoi rejects district proposal to allow sidewalk vending

By Phan Anh   April 6, 2021 | 06:00 pm PT
Hanoi rejects district proposal to allow sidewalk vending
People sit and chat on a sidewalk in Hanoi, April 2019. Photo by VnExpress/Nguyen Chi Nam.
A proposal by Hanoi’s downtown Hoan Kiem District to allow vending on the sidewalks on five streets overnight has been rejected by the municipal transport department.

The proposal sought to allow vendors to operate on Hai Ba Trung, Ly Thuong Kiet, Tran Hung Dao and Le Phung Hieu streets as well as part of Phung Hung streets from 6 a.m. to 2 a.m. the next day.

Vending can be allowed on the other part of Phung Hung Street from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., the proposal said.

Vendors allowed on sidewalks would include those selling beverages, cakes, fast food, souvenirs and food stalls.

The Hoan Kiem People’s Committee said the sidewalks on the five streets should be used for vending because they were overcrowded now and businesses already functioning in the areas were unregulated, affecting urban aesthetics while increasing pollution and traffic risks. Legal sidewalk vendors would help restore order, boost tourism and socio-economic development, the proposal said.

But Ngo Manh Tuan, deputy director of the municipal Department of Transport, said the proposal was inappropriate as such streets formed main traffic routes in the area with large traffic flows, especially during rush hours. To have vendors on those streets’ sidewalks might worsen traffic congestion and affect surrounding areas as well, he said.

Additionally, allowing sidewalk vending may create business inequality between those whose businesses are registered and those who do the vending, creating conflicts, he said.

If there is a real need for sidewalk business, Hoan Kiem can propose to the Hanoi People’s Committee that it considers allowing the temporary use of sidewalk portions that are situated inside buildings, he said.

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