Restricting personal vehicles will hurt many, there are other ways to fix traffic jams

October 5, 2023 | 04:48 pm PT
Restricting personal vehicles will hurt many, there are other ways to fix traffic jams
Heavy traffic on Cong Hoa Street of Tan Binh District, HCMC, August 2022. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran
Vietnam's government has ordered major cities to restrict private vehicles to fix traffic congestion, but readers fear the move can jeopardize the motorbike-based livelihoods of many people.

"Personal vehicles, specifically motorbikes, are a means of earning a living for the majority of Vietnamese people. Therefore, the restriction on personal vehicles will affect people's livelihoods. Why not set a goal for big cities to quickly expand roads and move people out of the inner city areas Why not completely eliminate the problem of encroachment on the sidewalk? Why not enforce measures to stop people from ignoring traffic laws which cause serious traffic jams?

I think the motorbike is not at fault. The first thing that needs to be adjusted here is urban planning. We have not developed infrastructure well, people's traffic awareness is still poor, penalties for traffic violations are not strict and not deterrent enough, urban order management is lax. All of that is causing chaos in Vietnamese traffic. Of course, developing public transportation is a very good thing, but it is also necessary to learn from other countries, where the number of public vehicles is very large and they run fast, and passengers rarely have to deal with pickpockets."

"I live in HCMC and my child's school is only about 3 km from home. Under normal traffic conditions, if I take my child to school by motorbike, it takes about 30 minutes to go there and back. If you go by car, it's a bit slower than a motorbike. If I take the bus, I have to walk from home to the bus station, which takes about 10 minutes, and I have to wait for the bus for a while. The bus journey is also longer, about 25-30 minutes. Thus, a total one-way bus ride takes about 35-40 minutes on average, and the return trip is about the same.

In my case, considering the time alone compared to using personal transportation, the time spent on public transportation will be nearly three times as long. I don't have enough time and patience, and for now I still use personal vehicles. I have been to Singapore several times and experienced both the MRT and buses there. If I lived here, I definitely would not buy any personal vehicle because the public transportation is very convenient and fast."
Khoa Tran Viet

"Ho Chi Minh City has increased to 12 million people and is still growing. So why not prioritize moving the population to the suburbs by building infrastructure? When everything is concentrated in big cities, traffic jams are the inevitable consequence. Public transportation in our country is difficult to compare with Western countries. The density of roads, alleys and alley systems in Vietnam is also different. There are hundreds of thousands of interwoven alleys. The population is too crowded in one place and unevenly distributed. The streets in Ho Chi Minh City are now only empty after 10 p.m."
Hoai Long

"If the urban area is properly developed, it will only take a 5-minute walk to find every kind of store, then people will no longer need to ride motorbikes or personal cars. In addition, it is also necessary to plant more trees to shade pedestrians from the sun. If every big city has eight metro lines, the sidewalks are cleared so people can comfortably walk to the train station or bus stop in 5 minutes, then getting from home to work or school will be easy. It only takes 5-10 minutes, anyone who lives more than 20 km away will only take 30 minutes instead of having to spend more than an hour in traffic jam like now. There will be more space on the roads and it is also good for the environment."

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