HCMC's iconic Turtle Lake to become pedestrian zone

By Huu Cong   November 26, 2020 | 07:46 pm PT
HCMC's iconic Turtle Lake to become pedestrian zone
Aerial view of the Turtle Lake in HCMC, May 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Huu Khoa.
HCMC’s iconic Turtle Lake and Nguyen Thuong Hien Street would be pedestrianized in future, a district official said.

Pham Thanh Kien, Communist Party Secretary of District 3, said the idea was fueled by the popular opinion that, since the Turtle Lake is located near the Notre-Dame Cathedral, another icon, the area should be turned into a walking street worthy of its status. The lake is five minutes walk from the cathedral.

"Turtle Lake would be turned into a high-quality walking street, unlike in other, mere business-oriented areas," he said Thursday.

Nguyen Thuong Hien, two km from the lake, is known for its snack and street food vendors, mentioned countless times in travel magazines and tourism forums, he said.

"Turning the area into a pedestrian zone would not only provide better service quality, but also boost business and economic development," Kien said.

District 3 authorities expect to meet with relevant ministries and units next week regarding the proposal, before requesting support from the municipal People’s Committee, the executive branch of the city government, he said.

Nguyen Thanh Nha, director of the HCMC planning and architecture department, supported the idea, stating the proposal has a high chance of success since creating smaller walking streets is easier than creating larger ones, like Nguyen Hue and Bui Vien in District 1. The new pedestrian zone should account for the many traffic intersections in the area to avoid congestion, he added.

Turtle Lake is at the intersection of Pham Ngoc Thach, Tran Cao Van and Vo Van Tan streets, where several restaurants, bars and cafes are concentrated, making it a busy destination from morning until night.

Nguyen Thuong Hien spans nearly a kilometer and intersects with several major roads like Dien Bien Phu, Nguyen Dinh Chieu and Vo Van Tan.

HCMC is opening the two walking streets Nguyen Hue and Bui Vien during the weekend. The city has drawn up a plan to expand its walking streets in District 1 by reorganizing traffic flows on Dong Khoi, Le Loi, Ham Nghi, Thai Van Lung and Thi Sach streets. Officials hope the expanded zone would boost the city’s nighttime economy.

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