Hanoians walk free from Old Quarter traffic prison

By Thanh Hue   December 27, 2020 | 02:37 pm GMT+7
Saturday night’s cold weather did not dampen the enthusiasm of many Hanoians who stepped out to enjoy the Old Quarter’s expanded pedestrian space.
Starting December 25, the pedestrian zone is expanded to cover the streets of Dinh Liet, Gia Ngu, Cau Go, Hang Be, Hang Dau, Hang Bac, Dao Duy Tu, O Quan Chuong, along with Cau Go, Trung Yen and Phat Loc alleys in central Hoan Kiem District.The expanded walking streets are operated as a trial first this weekend, and will officially be launched starting January 1 next year, on the evenings of Friday, Saturday and Sunday weekly.

Starting December 25, Hanoi’s pedestrian zone was expanded to cover the streets of Dinh Liet, Gia Ngu, Cau Go, Hang Be, Hang Dau, Hang Bac, Dao Duy Tu and, O Quan Chuong, as also the Cau Go, Trung Yen and Phat Loc alleys in Hoan Kiem District.
The expanded pedestrian zone will function as a trial run this weekend before its official launch on January 1 next year. The expanded zone will function on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings every week.

According to Hoan Kiem District People’s Committee, the new pedestrian streets are interconnected with the walking streets around Hoan Kiem Lake to serve locals and tourists on the weekend.Expanded walking streets provide food and beverage, tourism, clothing and jewelry services. Cultural and historical sites in the area would also stay open during pedestrian hours, the committee said.

The Hoan Kiem District People’s Committee has said that the new pedestrian streets are interconnected with the existing ones around Hoan Kiem Lake to better serve locals and tourists on the weekend.
The expanded pedestrian zone comes along with more food and beverage and shopping spaces, not to mention tourism services. Cultural and historical sites in the area will stay open during pedestrian hours, the committee has said.

At the intersection of Dinh Liet and Gia Ngu streets, a group of youngsters sang on the evening of December 26, attracting hundreds of audiences.

At the intersection of Dinh Liet and Gia Ngu streets, a group of youngsters sing and dance to an audience of hundreds.

While many people donned masks to avoid the Covid-19 infection risks, others dropped their guards. In November, the police in Hoan Kiem District and medical staff previously started raising public awareness about the Covid-19 and fined people that failed to wear face masks in the pedestrian streets. A lot of checkpoints have been set up to remind people before they enter the pedestrian zone.

While many people donned masks, maintaining the Covid-19 safety protocol, others dropped their guard.
Since November, the police and medical staff in Hoan Kiem District have carried out public awareness campaigns about Covid-19 and fined people not wearing masks on the pedestrian streets. A lot of checkpoints have been set up to remind people of the safety protocols before they enter the pedestrian zone.

A South Korean tourist live-streamed his experience in the new walking streets.

A South Korean tourist live-streams his experience in the expanded pedestrian zone.

The bustle and hustle left Hang Bac Street, where locals could play badminton without motorbikes passing by.I am happy that the city expands the pedestrian streets. This helps the street be quiet with no honking, and children will have a playground on the weekend, said Tran Quang Ha (L), resident of Hang Bac Street.

Without motorbikes and cars, the bustle and hustle have left Hang Bac Street, and residents are able to play badminton at leisure.
"I am happy that the city has expanded the pedestrian zone. It keeps the street quiet with no honking and children get a playground on the weekend," said Tran Quang Ha (L), a resident.

Children played on Dao Duy Tu Street.

Children enjoy playing on Dao Duy Tu Street, December 26.

Local authorities set up barriers and signs for locals and tourists since vehicles are banned from entering these streets from 6:30 p.m. to midnight from Friday to Sunday.Residents living in the pedestrian zone can park their motorbikes at a parking lot under Chuong Duong Bridge, or walk their vehicles home.

Local authorities have set up barriers and signs for locals and tourists. Vehicles are banned from entering these streets from 6:30 p.m. to midnight from Friday to Sunday.
Residents living in the pedestrian zone can park their motorbikes at a parking lot under the Chuong Duong Bridge, or walk their vehicles home.

Many people, having no idea about the new pedestrian zone, had to call their family members to bring documents proving they live inside the zone, to be allowed to walk their motorbikes through checkpoints. Those not living in the zone are not allowed to enter with their vehicles.

Many people unaware that the pedestrian zone has been expanded had to call their family members and tell them to bring documents proving they live inside the zone so that they could walk their motorbikes home from the checkpoints. Non-residents cannot enter the area with their vehicles.

The pedestrian zone around Hoan Kiem Lake attracts thousands of people every weekend.

The pedestrian zone around Hoan Kiem Lake attracts thousands every weekend.

The new walking streets, located in the north of Hoan Kiem Lakes, are interconnected with the pedestrian zone around the lake.

The new walking streets, located in the north of the Hoan Kiem Lake, are linked to the pedestrian zone established earlier. Illustration by Viet Chung.

 
 
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