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Saigon Wants to Expand Pedestrian-Only Zone to 5 More Streets in D1

Saigon might create more pedestrian zones in the city in the future.

proposal put forth by the HCMC Center for Management of Road Traffic Infrastructure includes plans to equip new pedestrian areas with free wifi, additional parking, information signs for locals and foreigners. Vehicles on sections of Dong Khoi, Le Loi, Ham Nghi, Thai Van Lung and Thi Sach streets would be banned from 7pm to 11pm every Saturday and Sunday.

A survey revealed widespread support for the new proposal, yet there was pushback against making the areas vehicle-free full-time. The city's transportation department is awaiting more feedback from the public and relevant agencies before submitting the plan to the city government. A more expansive 2017 plan that would have made a large section of District 1 pedestrian-only was never implemented. 

If approved, the five streets would join Bui Vien, Nguyen Hue and a recently introduced stretch of road in District 10 as vehicle-free areas in Saigon, albeit only during weekend nights.

Since opening in 2015, Nguyen Hue has been particularly popular to visitors, welcoming thousands of guests a day. Recent years have seen increased efforts to attract visitors including planting more flowers and trees and hosting water-music shows.

The news comes just days after Hanoi announced plans to expand and more strictly enforce behavior on its popular walking zone around Hoan Kiem Lake.