Saigon's 50-year long traffic jam

By Son Hoa   September 18, 2016 | 01:15 am PT
Traffic congestion and flooded streets were nothing strange in the former Saigon.

50 years ago long queues of cars also backed up the streets of central Saigon during rush hour. Photo taken at Le Loi Street, adjacent to Ben Thanh Market in 1969.


A traffic jam right in front of Ben Thanh Market. Many Saigoneers said that they were stuck there for up to four hours on Christmas Eve.


A central route choked with private cars. Ta Vu Ton, 78, a long-term resident of Saigon, said traffic jams clogged the city during holidays.


“On these occasions people poured onto the streets, and Ben Thanh Market, one of the city’s busiest venues at that time, was surrounded by long queues of cars. But this happened just a couple of times a year,” Ton recalled.


Cars lined up along Red Cross Street in 1969. The street, renamed Nguyen Thi Minh Khai, still gets stuck today due to the high volume of vehicles.


Apart from congestion, flooding is another problem faced Saigon in the past. A corner of Pasteur – Le Loi was inundated with rain water 60 years ago.


People rode their scooters to overcome a newly-formed river at Phuong Governor General Street, known as Hong Bang Street today.


Water practically submerged their wheels, but the situation is not as bad as it is now.


“In the past, there were less people so the water receded faster,” an expert said. 

Photos courtesy of Cittmeyer.

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