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Exclusive bicycle lanes won't help improve Hanoi traffic

By Fool   September 5, 2022 | 11:08 pm PT
Exclusive bicycle lanes won't help improve Hanoi traffic
A man rides a bicycle along Nha Chung Street in Hanoi's Hoan Kiem District, February 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Giang Huy
Hanoi has announced plans to develop exclusive lanes for vehicles as a solution to congestion, but the measure means nothing for the capital's current traffic problems.

The root cause of traffic congestion in Hanoi is population density, and that has never really been dealt with.

The city's infrastructure is already overloaded; allocating some lanes to bicycles would only complicate the situation. Who would make sure cars or motorbikes do not encroach on those lanes, and what would it help if some roads have bicycle lanes and others do not?

To solve Hanoi's congestion, there are two more practical measures the city should focus on.

First, population density over infrastructure needs to be reduced, by building more roads, schools, parking lots, and parks.

Second, individual vehicles should be restricted in the inner city. This can be done by improving public transport services, making sure that public means can serve at least 90 percent of basic travel demands – going to school, work, hospitals, malls.

The city can also charge an entry fee for vehicles entering the inner city, like in London.

In brief, if Vietnamese cities want to solve their traffic problems, they need to touch the root causes. If they only touch on the surface, they would only waste money.

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