HCMC rejects proposal for car parking lots to save parks

By Huu Cong   December 30, 2017 | 02:35 am PT
HCMC rejects proposal for car parking lots to save parks
Le Van Tam Park where a business has proposed to build a smart parking lot. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran
The smart parking lots which can hold up to 500 cars are feared to take up too much public space in the downtown.

The Ho Chi Minh City government has dismissed a proposal to build vertical rotating parking lots in the city's downtown because the project would take up too much of the already limited public space.

An investor earlier asked to build four lots in District 1: at the September 23 Park outside Ben Thanh Market, Lam Son Square behind the Saigon Opera House, Le Van Tam and Tao Dan Parks, and one lot in front of Thong Nhat Stadium in District 10.

They could accommodate up to 500 cars with minimal footprint.

The proposal hopes to solve the city's dire need for parking spaces, given the surge in personal vehicles, especially space-taking cars.

But the city’s chairman Nguyen Thanh Phong disagrees with their proposed locations.

He said the city’s limited public space should continue to serve the public and that it would be better to build parking lots at entrances into the city.

Vietnam's largest city of 13 million people now only has around 130,000 trees. Each person can only afford to have two to three square meters of green space, according to the Ministry of Construction.

At the same time, the city is struggling to serve its rapidly rising number of cars.

Parking space in HCMC downtown now only meets around 7 percent of total demand, according to sources familiar with the matter. The city thus has to turn parts of many roads and sidewalks into legal parking space, which only adds to traffic jams.

Plans for four underground parking lots have remained on paper for years. Construction of one of them started at Le Van Tam Park in 2010 with an estimated cost of $110 million, but no completion date has been set.

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