Several major streets in Ho Chi Minh City are set to become one-way roads in 2017, as part of a local effort to combat traffic congestion, prompting mixed feedback from citizens.
The proposition was made by Bui Xuan Cuong, director of the municipal Department of Transport, during a meeting with the Secretary of the Ho Chi Minh City Party Committee.
The current plans aims to alleviate regular traffic jams on several downtown streets near the city’s entrances.
Accordingly, the plan will affect Cong Hoa, Truong Chinh, and Hoang Van Thu streets in Tan Binh District, Pham 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.
According to Ngo Hai Duong, head of the Road Infrastructure Management and Exploitation Division under the transport department, one-way travel on such streets will expedite traffic flow and minimize the probability of congestion and accidents.
A map detailing the new traffic direction on Cong Hoa, Truong Chinh, and Hoang Van Thu Streets in Tan Binh Distinct. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Duong admitted that the one-way traffic will affect businesses operating along the streets and lengthen journeys of commuters to an extent, though he added that the solution has already proved effective in combating traffic gridlock on many streets in the city.
Prior to implementing the scheme, the city’s transport department will sponsor a study and evaluate the situation of the affected streets, the official stated.
The plan also calls for officials to collect feedback from local residents and experts, he added.
A map detailing the new traffic direction on Phan Van Tri and Le Quang Dinh Streets in Go Vap District. Photo: Tuoi Tre
According to a survey by Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper, many residents living along the affected roads are not happy with the upcoming changes.
Turning Truong Chinh and Cong Hoa Streets into one-way thoroughfares will put immense pressure on their intersections with Hoang Hoa Tham and Tan Ky- Tan Quy streets, both of which are already congested during rush hours, said Nguyen Ngoc Liem, a citizen residing on Cong Hoa Street.
The new Truong Chinh- Cong Hoa- Hoang Van Thu circle will make travel distance much longer than normal, while intersecting streets will still betoo small to accommodate a large amount of vehicles, Quang Phu, a resident in Tan Binh District, remarked.
Meanwhile, regular commuters on the affected streets are more inclined to the solution, considering it a necessity for eliminating congestion.
A map detailing the new traffic direction on Hai Ba Trung and Pham Ngoc Thach Streets in District 1. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Small businesses worried
According to Tran Thanh Phuong, a shopkeeper on Hai Ba Trung Street, businesses operating on the left side of a one-way street are more likely to suffer losses due to a decrease in their convenience.
Truong Thi Thu Dieu, owner of a hair salon on Phan Van Tri Street, supports that opinion, asserting that competent authorities should instead focus their efforts on raising people’s awareness and expanding roads.
Turning a street into one-way traffic is typically opposed by local residents, Tran Quang Phuong, former director of the Department of Transport, said, listing Xo Viet Nghe Tinh and Dinh Bo Linh Streets in Binh Thanh District as examples, adding that local resident’s opinions usually change after seeing positive results.
A map detailing the new traffic direction on Le Quy Don and Tran Quoc Thao Streets in District 3. Photo: Tuoi Tre