As the year is coming to an end, Tuoi Tre News has prepared a list of 10 most thought-provoking issues about traffic in Vietnam this year.
Congestion has stood out as the most topical issue, which is considered a nightmare by local residents as well as an all-too-familiar problem by foreign visitors.
In an effort to eliminate traffic jams in major cities, local authorities have come up with a variety of measures and drastic changes which have met with mixed feedback and different responses from citizens.
Topping the list is Ho Chi Minh City’s most recent decision to change multiple major streets into one-way roads, in a bid to minimize traffic gridlock in downtown areas and at the entrance of Tan Son Nhat International Airport.
This will affect Cong Hoa, Truong Chinh, and Hoang Van Thu Streets in Tan Binh District; Phan Van Tri and Le Quang Dinh Streets in Go Vap District; and Hai Ba Trung, Pham Ngoc Thach, Tran Quoc Thao, and Le Quy Don Streets in the city center from next year.
While many residents have expressed their support for the change, others have aired their doubt as to its effectiveness, especially businesses that think one-way traffic will cause them to suffer losses.
Coming in second place is another initiative put forward by Ho Chi Minh City leaders to combat traffic jams.
Many plans have been set to limit the number of personal motorcycles and automobiles coming into the downtown area, which have also stirred a public debate.
Ranking third is Ho Chi Minh City’s effort to prevent drunk driving.
In the first 10 months of this year, traffic police dealt with a total of 21,195 cases of driving under the influence of alcohol, of which 498 were car drivers while the others were motorists.
Flooding is an issue that has been a headache for many residents with its impact on the local lifestyle and traffic.
In a bid to cope with the situation, authorities in the southern Vietnamese hub decided to elevate Kinh Duong Vuong Street in Binh Tan District.
Hundreds of households along the street were fenced off by a brick wall in preparation for the large-scale road surface elevation, earning this story the number-four spot in the top-ten list.
In fifth place, a new government decree taking effect in August stated that a VND2 million (US$87.9) would be imposed on car drivers and VND400,000 ($17.58) on motorists who fail to follow the yellow light signal.
Ranking sixth is the reality that multiple tollbooths of BOT (build-operate-transfer) projects have mushroomed along many highways in Vietnam.
The State Audit Office announced on May 6 that it would carry out an audit at 86 BOT tollbooths across the country.
Coming in seventh place is the collapse of the Ghenh Bridge, a railway bridge spanning over the Dong Nai River in southern Vietnam and an important section of the north-to-south train service, on the morning of March 20.
Railway operations were largely affected until the structure was rebuilt on June 26.
At number eight, a Ministry of Transport circular coming into force in March stipulates that the speed limit in urban areas in Vietnam would be increased by 10kph from the previous level.
The ninth spot is occupied by Ho Chi Minh City’s solution to prevent passenger buses from picking up passengers in the middle of the streets, posing risks of traffic accidents and congestion.
Last but not least, the Hanoi People’s Committee on January 18 officially put into operation the largest flyover in the Vietnamese capital, which is located in Long Bien District.