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​​Restrooms, footbridges a rare sight along Saigon’s multibillion-dollar roads

Tuesday, April 10, 2018, 10:17 GMT+7

Public urination and life-risking road crossing attempts are usually seen instead   

No public toilets and few pedestrian overpasses are present along several lifeline roads in Ho Chi Minh City which received multibillion dollars’ worth of investment, causing safety and environmental problems.

Restrooms are absent from Pham Van Dong Boulevard, a newly-built artery stretching roughly 14 kilometers from Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Tan Binh District to the spot near National Road 1A in Thu Duc District.

It is a common scene that drivers pull in or pedestrians stop to urinate on the sidewalks along the route, even in daylight.

Within an hour one recent day, scores of such people were seen passing water along the road.

A similar situation occurs to Hanoi Highway, the metropolis’ inter-district road about 15 kilometers long, with many truck drivers and motorcycle riders peeing outdoors.

Revolting odors could be noticed emanating from several bus stations positioned along the road, giving waiting passengers an ordeal.

The human waste pollution became so urgent that residents have erected ‘No Defecating and Urinating’ signs along several kilometers of Nguyen Van Linh Avenue, a major road with the largest number of lanes in Ho Chi Minh City.

The homespun signs have no teeth, as foul smell still hangs heavy in the vicinity.

Nguyen Thi Nhu, a roadside beverage vendor, said on a daily basis she has to clean the area around her business location, which is an ideal place for urination since it is surrounded by trees.

A lack of footbridges presents another concern on these expensive roads.

A woman was seen climbing the Jersey barrier on the Hanoi Highway before reaching the other side of the road in incoming traffic; and many pedestrians crossed the portion of Pham Van Dong Boulevard near its intersection with Le Quang Dinh Street in heavy traffic one recent morning.

Truong Thi Ly, a local on the road, said a number of such pedestrians had been hit by motorcycles.

Officials said that they are formulating proposals to install public toilets along the Hanoi Highway with investment from private businesses; and build more footbridges at places where accidents frequently happen to pedestrians.

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