HCMC's traffic-congested downtown roundabout to be scaled down

By Thu Hang   March 9, 2023 | 11:01 pm PT
HCMC's traffic-congested downtown roundabout to be scaled down
Traffic at Dien Bien Phu-Nguyen Binh Khiem Roundabout in District 1, March 8, 2023. Photo by VnExpress/Dinh Van
The Transport Department has decided not to remove the Nguyen Binh Khiem–Dien Bien Phu roundabout in District 1 as this would make it difficult for the city to regulate traffic.

Ngo Hai Duong, head of the Management Board of Traffic Construction Projects under the HCMC's Department of Transport, said the roundabout will be made smaller instead of being removed as proposed earlier by the city's traffic police.

In a statement sent to the department, traffic police said the roundabout should be turned into an intersection with traffic lights to resolve the congestion that has become more serious at the circle.

The roundabout is where two major streets, Dien Bien Phu and Nguyen Binh Khiem, merge to connect the city's eastern gateway with the downtown area.

Built 20 years ago, the roundabout is 60 meters in diameter with a clock tower in the middle.

According to the traffic police, the roundabout has recently been attracting a large number of vehicles, especially during peak hours in the morning and the afternoon, creating serious traffic chaos.

Duong said if the roundabout is replaced by an intersection with traffic lights, vehicles will have to wait for a green light on Dien Bien Phu Bridge, which crosses the Nhieu Loc - Thi Nghe Canal on Dien Bien Phu Street to link Districts 1 and Binh Thanh, and that could affect the bridge's stability, threatening commuter safety.

In addition, Truong Sa St. and Hoang Sa St. near the roundabout both have tunnels, which can result in a large volume of vehicles stuck in the tunnels when they pass the green lights at the same time.

"Therefore, the department is looking for ways to scale down the roundabout to give more space for traffic circulation," said Duong.

He said what has made traffic congestion at the roundabout more serious at peak hours is traffic violations, especially by motorcyclists, as they do not circle in the right direction around the roundabout.

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