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For a better Ho Chi Minh City: Improve traffic, standard of living

Saturday, December 26, 2015, 11:51 GMT+7
For a better Ho Chi Minh City: Improve traffic, standard of living

Two Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper readers have suggested various solutions for turning Ho Chi Minh City into a more rewarding place to live in, including improving urban infrastructure, residents’ community consciousness and abiding by the laws. Nguyen Thien has come up with three equally important groups of suggestions.

Infrastructure for a smart city

The first group of solutions include the construction of modern infrastructure, particularly for transport, as a foundation for a civilized urban life.

The highlight of this group is that the Ho Chi Minh City administration has implemented plans to build eight metro lines which will link the heart of the city to its satellite urban zones.

These resolutions are of strategic importance in fundamentally solving chronic traffic problems which have aggravated city dwellers over the past decades.

They are also expected to halve the volume of motorbikes in the near future, which will be integral to the formation of a modern, civilized city. It’s necessary that the municipal administration adequately highlight this to ensure the people’s trust regarding the reality of a more convenient traffic situation.

It is hoped that the construction of the metro lines will encourage the formation of the city’s fully functional urban satellites.

It’s also important that the city earmark its land fund and adopt sound policies to build affordable apartments in an attempt to ensure that everyone, including migrants, can own a house.

It’s advisable that the municipal administration pay due respect to the city’s time-honored cultural and historical values as well as architecturally noteworthy structures, ensuring their conservation.

The local government should also work hard to restore its canals to their original, unpolluted state, and build more pedestrian streets, parks, street art venues as well as children’s playgrounds in residential areas.

An urban law needed

Thien’s second group of solutions include the addition and completion of laws on urban management, environmental protection and food safety; as well as the construction of a citizen-friendly, professional state mechanism to monitor the implementation of such laws.

An urban law, designed to put a curb on urban problems, should come into being soon, while stringent fines should be slapped on rule breakers.

The city should also devise and put into effect rules to regulate how its residents are supposed to behave in concerted efforts to turn a dream city into reality.

It’s thus vital that the metropolis boast a professional, cultured urban police force that is friendly, helpful and powerful enough to make sure the future urban law is enforced properly with infringements strictly penalized.

Enhancing community awareness

Thien’s last group of solutions put the focus on city dwellers, as one cannot wholly rely on a future urban law or adequate infrastructure to tackle urban problems, especially in times of emergency.

It’s therefore urgent that approaches be adopted to improve awareness, cultured manners and a sense of community among residents, particularly those hailing from rural areas.

It’s also a sound idea for competent agencies to compile textbooks highlighting good urban manners, and incorporate them into current high school curriculums so as to educate future generations on how to become well-behaved citizens.

A sense of security

Meanwhile, Tran Kiem Ha, another Tuoi Tre reader, pointed out that improving the current traffic situation is key to making Ho Chi Minh City a more livable city among its residents, and a more tourist-friendly destination for travelers.

The southern economic hub has seen a population boom in the past several years, which has resulted in congested streets and an alarmingly complicated traffic situation, despite the local administration’s efforts to improve public infrastructure. Common sights are urban flooding, occurring after one or several downpours; as well as rampant littering and traffic rule violations among careless residents.

Ha stressed that to confront these chronic problems, the municipal administration should launch a campaign which encourages its residents to join hands and turn the city into a civilized area.

Sessions should be organized at residential units to raise inhabitants’ awareness, while regulations to be abided by should be printed in leaflets. These leaflets will be handed away for free to residents, particularly fresh migrants, and rule breakers will be sternly penalized.

It’s necessary that the municipal administration adopt two solutions which should go hand in hand.

The first suggested solution is further improving civil engineering works, particularly streets, and properly manipulating traffic flow.

Bus activity should also be enhanced so that public transport would better serve commuters and no longer pose accident hazards or be partly responsible for traffic jams.

Bus routes which have few passengers should be eliminated or switched to smaller vehicles.

Secondly, campaigns to raise citizens’ traffic rule awareness should also be organized regularly.

Violators would be strictly fined and obliged to take courses in how to behave well in a civilized city.

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