Holiday exodus triggers massive gridlocks on Hanoi streets

By Ngoc Thanh   February 2, 2019 | 09:20 am GMT+7

Long lines of vehicles choked Hanoi streets Friday as people began their homeward journey for Tet.

Holiday fever triggers massive gridlocks on Hanoi streets

Long queues of vehicles were stuck on Xa Dan Street, a 10-minute drive from the city center, at 4 p.m. on Friday, the last working day of the year, three days before the Lunar New Year (Tet). 

The government has approved a nine-day break for the holiday between February 2 and 10.

Holiday fever triggers massive gridlocks on Hanoi streets - 2

Motorbike drivers wore face masks outdoors to prevent respiratory infections and airborne diseases as air quality in the capital has reached dangerous levels and turned "very unhealthy" over the past weeks.

The Real-time Air Quality Index on aqicn.org on Friday afternoon ranked pollution in the capital at "unhealthy," a level requiring old people and those with heart and respiratory problems to stay indoors.

Holiday fever triggers massive gridlocks on Hanoi streets - 3

Several streets like Lang and Nguyen Ngoc Vu along the To Lich River were jammed for hours.

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Vehicles moved at snail’s space and motorbikes climbed onto the sidewalk to cut through the traffic flow.

Traffic congestion is a daily problem in Hanoi, which has 5.2 million motorbikes and around 550,000 cars, besides some 1.2 million brought by immigrants, according to police figures.

Data shows a 4.6 percent annual increase in the number individual vehicles while traffic land in the city has only expanded 0.4 percent a year. A survey by market research firm Audience Project and Uber in 2017 showed that a person in Hanoi lost an average of an hour to traffic jams per day.

Holiday fever triggers massive gridlocks on Hanoi streets - 5

A delivery man carries a peach blossom tree, an indispensable house decoration for Tet in northern Vietnam.

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A car-motorbike collision on Pham Ngoc Thach Street, worsening the traffic congestion.

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A traffic officer tries to help, regulating traffic during peak hours.

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As of 6 p.m., the situation hadn’t improved in the area leading to Ring Road 3 on the city’s southern major gateway.  

Holiday fever triggers massive gridlocks on Hanoi streets - 8

Long line of cars inches ahead on Tran Phu Street in Ha Dong District.

 
 
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