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Plan to block streets in downtown Saigon abruptly delayed to April 24

Wednesday, April 22, 2015, 16:32 GMT+7
Plan to block streets in downtown Saigon abruptly delayed to April 24
A police officer controls traffic at the Cach Mang Thang Tam - Nguyen Thi Minh Khai intersection in Ho Chi Minh City on April 22, 2015.

Having been informed that some streets in the heart of Ho Chi Minh City, where their offices sit, would be blocked on Wednesday for preparations for Reunification Day celebrations, many white-collar workers had to take longer routes to go to work in the morning, only to see traffic remain nearly normal shortly after their arrival at workplaces.

The city’s transport department announced on Monday that many streets in the downtown area would be blocked during different times in the April 22-30 period to make way for preparatory work to celebrate Reunification Day (April 30).

A huge area, bounded by Nguyen Thi Minh Khai, Cach Mang Thang Tam, Le Thanh Ton, and Nguyen Binh Khiem Streets would be shut down for such purposes, and vehicle drivers were asked to avoid these streets from 7:00 am to 11:00 am on Wednesday.

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But those people who work in the blocked area said traffic flow there was almost normal this morning.

A representative of the transport department told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper that there was “a sudden change” to the plan.

“Seeing that completely blocking the streets would greatly affect the travel to work of many people, we only restricted traffic at certain spots and times when necessary,” according to the representative. 

He emphasized that the department had not delivered a false announcement to the public.

Traffic will be blocked from 20:00 to 24:00 on Friday, and 5:00 to 12:00 on Sunday and Thursday next week, the representative said, citing the “adjusted plan.”

The road blocking plan has left many people scratching their heads as to how they would get to work on time, even though the transport department has given a list of alternative routes.

It is said that people have to park their vehicles somewhere and walk to the offices if their buildings are located within the restricted area.

Seeing the plan changed abruptly, however, has also displeased the public.

“Had I known this earlier, I would not have arrived at work late,” an office worker told Tuoi Tre today.

Some companies reportedly told employees to skip the morning shift only to learn later that they could get to work as easily as normal.

In the meantime, the streets that are recommended as alternative routes were comprehensibly more crowded than usual this morning.

Ha, a resident in Tan Binh District, used to travel along Nam Ky Khoi Nghia Street through the city’s downtown area to get to work in District 7.

This morning she had to use Cach Mang Thang Tam Street instead, and got stuck near the Hoa Hung market in District 10.

“I still arrived at work 30 minutes late,” she told VnExpress.

Below are the alternative routes to circumvent the closed area (please scroll down to see the detailed map)

1. For vehicles traveling from Binh Thanh District to District 5 or District 10:

#1: Xo Viet Nghe Tinh -- Thi Nghe Bridge -- Hoang Sa -- Nguyen Dinh Chieu -- Ly Thai To

#2: Xo Viet Nghe Tinh -- Thi Nghe Bridge -- Hoang Sa -- Nguyen Dinh Chieu -- Nguyen Binh Khiem -- Dien Bien Phu -- Dinh Tien Hoang -- Vo Thi Sau -- Cach Mang Thang Tam

2. For vehicles traveling from District 5 or District 10 to Binh Thanh District:

#1: Ly Thai To -- Dien Bien Phu -- Nguyen Binh Khiem -- Nguyen Thi Minh Khai -- Thi Nghe Bridge -- Xo Viet Nghe Tinh

#2: Cach Mang Thang Tam -- Ly Chinh Thang -- Hai Ba Trung -- Hoang Sa -- Dien Bien Phu – Hang Xanh Roundabout -- Xo Viet Nghe Tinh

3. For vehicles traveling from Binh Thanh District to District 4:

#1: Xo Viet Nghe Tinh -- Hang Xanh Roundabout -- Dien Bien Phu -- Nguyen Huu Canh -- Ton Duc Thang -- Nguyen Tat Thanh

#2: Dien Bien Phu -- Dinh Tien Hoang -- Vo Thi Sau -- Cach Mang Thang Tam -- Nguyen Thi Nghia -- Nguyen Thai Hoc -- Ong Lanh Bridge -- Hoang Dieu

4. For vehicles traveling from Tan Binh District to District 4:

#1: Nguyen Van Troi -- Nam Ky Khoi Nghia -- Dien Bien Phu -- Nguyen Huu Canh -- Ton Duc Thang -- Nguyen Tat Thanh

#2: Nguyen Van Troi -- Nam Ky Khoi Nghia -- Vo Thi Sau -- Cach Mang Thang Tam -- Nguyen Thi Nghia -- Nguyen Thai Hoc -- Ong Lanh Bridge -- Hoang Dieu

You can also take this map as reference (click on the photo to see it in full size):

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