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Saigon Proposes 'Trimming' Sidewalks to Address Traffic Woes

In an effort to quell rush hour traffic, city officials are asking the Department of Transportation to reduce the surface area of Saigon's sidewalks.

Two major areas – the intersection of Nguyen Thai Son and Phan Van Tri in Go Vap District and just north of Binh Thanh District's Hang Xanh roundabout – have been selected for sidewalk reduction, according to VnExpress.

If approved, the proposal would relocate street lamps and trees in these two areas, moving them back from the clogged city streets to free up a bit more space for vehicles. In Binh Thanh District, officials have already requested a temporary ban on driving down smaller side streets in the area, such as D5 Street, from 6am to 9am and 4pm to 7pm.

City officials believe that “pruning” the sidewalks in Saigon's traffic hotspots may help to reduce congestion. Along with strengthening the local police force, building bridges and installing surveillance cameras in select areas, the move is meant to improve traffic flow across the city.

The management center for the Thu Thiem Tunnel also recommended that the Department of Transportation affix 13 high-resolution surveillance cameras inside the tunnel to better observe and handle any traffic incidents which may occur.

According to the Department of Transportation, there are 24 major traffic hotspots in Saigon, and while the surface area of the city's roads increases by around two percent a year, its number of motorbikes climbs by 10% during that same period. Over 7 million vehicles are currently registered in Saigon, with approximately 1,000 new motorbikes and 100 cars registered in the city everyday.

[Photo by Galen Stolee]

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