​Ho Chi Minh City orders shutdown of sidewalk parking lots

Parking venues on local promenades will be closed within Q1 2018

Motorbikes parked along a sidewalk on Thi Sach Street in District 1, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Tuoi Tre

Authorities in Ho Chi Minh City have demanded the closure of sidewalk parking lots throughout the city in order to reserve public space for pedestrians.

The municipal People’s Committee has issued a document calling on administrations in the city’s 24 districts to forbid parking venues from operating on local promenades within the first quarter of this year.

City leaders asserted in the document that sidewalks must be prioritized for pedestrians.

If footpaths need to be used for different purposes, local authorities will be expected to closely manage such activities to prevent any negative impacts on traffic and urban esthetics.

At certain locations where parking on sidewalks is essential, the People’s Committees in the relevant districts will task local youth volunteer units with operating these parking lots.

Prices will be charged in accordance with current regulations – VND500 (US$0.02) to VND4,000 ($0.18) for bicycles, VND2,000 (0.09) to VND6,000 ($0.26) for motorcycles, and VND20,000 ($0.88) to VND40,000 ($1.76) for automobiles.

If a business is willing to operate a free-of-charge sidewalk parking lot, local administrations will review the level of necessity and functionality before issuing a decision.

Businesses who win approval to operate such parking lots will only be granted licensing for a fixed amount of time.

The Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee also tasked the District 1 administration with conducting a comprehensive inspection of parking facilities in its jurisdiction and imposing stern penalties on those operating without legitimate permits.

In a relevant development, Doan Ngoc Hai, vice-chairman of the People’s Committee in District 1, signed an order on Thursday to shut down unlicensed parking lots in the district.

Parking areas at local administrative offices will also be closed until a suitable solution is identified.

Hai became a city icon for his ‘sidewalk-clearing’ efforts and campaign to take back public space from encroaching businesses last year.

However, he tendered a letter of resignation earlier this week, citing his failure to bring order to the district’s promenades.

The municipal administration was set to meet with Hai to listen to his reasoning behind the resignation before making the final decision.

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