The jamming debate: How to unclog streets in Hanoi and Saigon?

By Editorial   August 21, 2017 | 02:39 am PT
The jamming debate: How to unclog streets in Hanoi and Saigon?
Traffic gridlock in Saigon. Overpopulated megacities that develop
The government has spoken and so have experts and residents; but just like the notorious traffic, the debate is going nowhere.

In early July, Hanoi made headlines around the world when it decided to ban motorbikes from downtown streets by 2030 as part of a plan to ease congestion. Ho Chi Minh City has also hinted at a possible ban, but only once there’s sufficient public transport.

Yet just last week, in a seemingly desperate move to clear up traffic, Hanoi banned taxis and cars from certain streets during rush hour.

But the nightmare is nowhere near that of Ho Chi Minh City, home to 13 million people who have just 1.98 kilometers of roads per square kilometer, five times below national standards.

As the struggle goes on, fingers have been pointed at inconsiderate car drivers, huge numbers of motorbikes (many happen to be too old), poor driving and no respect for traffic laws.

But let’s face it: overpopulated megacities that develop "too fast" with nearly zero public transport and an outdated road network designed for bikes are bound to get jammed up.

It’s time for a broader view of the traffic situation in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City and a discussion about viable solutions. There simply is no single cause of gridlock – it’s more complex than that.

This is why VnExpress International is calling for our readers to provide constructive criticism on the status quo and discuss an array of solutions – because a single one, as we’ve seen, won’t work.

To submit an article, click here.

We look forward to reading your ideas. For some inspiration, watch this video:

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