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Ho Chi Minh City to have new pedestrian street in downtown area

Ho Chi Minh City to have new pedestrian street in downtown area

Sunday, August 28, 2022, 12:34 GMT+7
Ho Chi Minh City to have new pedestrian street in downtown area
Le Loi Pedestrian Street, when in place, will cross the existing Nguyen Hue Pedestrian Street in downtown Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: T.T.D. / Tuoi Tre

The People’s Committee of District 1, Ho Chi Minh City has sought the municipal authorities’ approval for turning Le Loi Boulevard in the district into a pedestrian street to attract tourists, thus boosting local economic development.

The district has also proposed the city administration pass the urban space planning for Le Loi to attract investors in commercial services, contributing to balancing the business development and social order in District 1 and the city as a whole.

According to the District 1 People’s Committee, the proposition was made after the district had worked with municipal departments and agencies over a proposal by Sea Star Sai Gon JSC.

In the plan, Le Loi Pedestrian Street is designed to start at the intersection with Nguyen Hue, the first pedestrian street in the city, and end at the Quach Thi Trang Roundabout in front of Ben Thanh Market to create a commercial and shopping street.

The pedestrian street would open from 4:00 pm to 2:00 am on weekends, including areas for cultural products-events, tourism services, and trade and catering services.

It would be divided into three areas, including a 240-meter modern street section along which double-decker food carts would be put, a 120-meter nostalgic stretch featuring old-style food carts, and a 120-meter span for events.

Le Loi will be transformed into a place where residents can both take a stroll and experience cultural values, artistic performances, and catering services.

Nguyen Duy An, vice-chairman of the District 1 People’s Committee, said the Le Loi walking street project would pave the way for the operation of other streets in the city center.

Sea Star Sai Gon JSC’s proposal has no shortcomings as those at the Ben Thanh night market. In particular, it does not pose a high risk of traffic accidents and it is easy to pack up goods and facilities after the operation time, the district vice-chairman noted. 

However, An expressed his concern over social order and the management of the area as Le Loi passes through many key streets in District 1.

The District 1 authorities required the investor’s design for the Le Loi walking street to be in line with the city’s general planning for the area, and serve entertainment activities on weekends and events held by the city.

Le Loi Boulevard has been reinstated after being blocked for the construction of Ben Thanh Terminal and tracks of metro line No. 1 in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Ngoc Hien / Tuoi Tre

Le Loi Boulevard has been reinstated after being blocked for the construction of Ben Thanh Terminal and tracks of metro line No. 1 in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Ngoc Hien / Tuoi Tre

At a recent meeting, a representative of the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Planning and Architecture said that the municipal People’s Committee had assigned the department to assess the general design for the Le Loi walking street and the area in front of Ben Thanh Market.

Therefore, the representative has asked the consultant of the project to cooperate with the department in working out a more appropriate design.

On weekends, the whole street should be closed to make room for pedestrians only, like Nguyen Hue Pedestrian Street.

Meanwhile, a representative of the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Tourism required designing the walking street in a manner that would prevent some activities like those at existing night markets in the city.

“This will be a walking street in the heart of the city, so it must be attractive and an actual destination for tourists,” the representative added.

Le Loi Boulevard has been reinstated after it was blocked for the construction of Ben Thanh Terminal and tracks of metro line No. 1 for eight years.

The Le Loi walking street project is one of the 22 proposed by the municipal Department of Transport to be executed in the downtown area.

District 1 is now home to Nguyen Hue and Bui Vien walking streets. The two were opened in 2015 and 2017, respectively.

In addition, Ho Chi Minh City has another pedestrian street near the Quang Trung Monument in District 10.

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Thanh Ha - Nhu Binh / Tuoi Tre

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