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Maze-like sidewalk fences pose challenges for pedestrians in Ho Chi Minh City

Sunday, February 26, 2017, 11:21 GMT+7

Sidewalks along a major hospital in Ho Chi Minh City have been equipped with a complicated system of barricades, an effort originally meant to reclaim space from vendors for pedestrians but now turning out to create immense difficulty for the latter.

Promenades along the sections of Thuan Kieu and Nguyen Chi Thanh Streets that surround Cho Ray Hospital, considered the city’s best general infirmary located in District 5, have been fenced up to prevent sidewalk drivers and street vendors from encroaching on the spaces.

However, the fences have been put up like a maze, proving to be obstacles for local pedestrians.

According to observations by Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper reporters, the barriers were about 1.5 meters high, spanning over 200 meters around the hospital.

The sidewalks were divided into two sections, one for motorbike parking and the other exclusively for walkers.

The entrances to the pedestrian zones were filled with fences planted in a zigzag design, not only making it difficult for sidewalk drivers and food vendors but also for pedestrians to enter.


Most pedestrians are not likely to walk in the preserved space due to the complex fences. Photo: Tuoi Tre

After observing for nearly an hour, the journalists only saw about five people walking in the preserved space while many others chose to walk on the roadways to save time and effort.

Some people took advantage of the barriers to hang their hammocks whereas a few vendors also managed to place their stalls, chairs, and stables inside the walking areas.

“Though erected to bar vendors and drivers from ‘invading’ the sidewalks, these barriers have created immense challenges to pedestrians due to their complex design,” a local resident told Tuoi Tre.

Many people, especially the sick and disabled, find it hard to zigzag their way through the fences, he continued, adding that they walk on the roadways instead.


A pedestrian chooses to walk on the roadway. Photo: Tuoi Tre


A man hangs his hammock against the fences. Photo: Tuoi Tre


Food vendors place their tables and chairs inside the pedestrian zone. Photo: Tuoi Tre

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