Back Stories » Saigon » Amid D1’s Sidewalk-Clearing Campaign, Uncertainty Over Bui Vien

Amid D1’s Sidewalk-Clearing Campaign, Uncertainty Over Bui Vien

In the midst of District 1 official Doan Ngoc Hai’s sidewalk-clearing campaign, speculation has arisen over the fate of downtown Saigon’s backpacker area.

According to Zing, the roads surrounding District 1’s Bui Vien Street are expected to be closed to vehicle traffic at night, transforming the area into a pedestrian street after 6pm or 7pm.

At this point, the news outlet reports, the Ho Chi Minh City Tourism Department has joined forces with the District 1 People’s Committee to draw up a proposal for the pedestrian street’s implementation. In the proposal, Zing reports, Bui Vien would be closed to traffic until 2am and city officials would carefully select the businesses and services made available on the tourist street. Vendors would be permitted to sell on the sidewalk but not on the road, as this area would be reserved for pedestrians.

Beyond the logistics of the plan, city officials also hope to replace Bui Vien’s pavement with granite sidewalks, arrange vehicle parking, install security cameras along the street and move all electrical wiring underground. Vice Chairman Cao Hong Viet of Pham Ngu Lao Ward told Zing the plan is currently to hold trial runs of the pedestrian street model over the weekend, with the hope of having the project fully operational by mid-2017.

As far as public opinion goes, the response so far has been mixed. Bui Vien vendor Le Thu Thao told VTC she opposed the sidewalk clearance, saying: “If the sidewalks are cleared then it’s not the backpacker district anymore.”

District 1 resident Hoang Thuy Trang, however, pointed out the current danger posed by Bui Vien’s heavily occupied sidewalks, telling the news outlet that pedestrians often walk in the middle of the road, posing a problem for local drivers.

According to VTC, Bui Vien residents received a notice from the ward on March 1, stressing the need for sidewalk clearance in the area. Though Pham Anh Tuan, deputy head of police in Pham Ngu Lao Ward, told the news outlet he doesn’t aim to fully clear the sidewalks, Tuan stressed the need to resolve Bui Vien’s traffic and pedestrian problems.

It remains to be seen what will happen to Saigon’s backpacker neighborhood, but the area may be on its way to becoming part of the “Little Singapore” plan in store for District 1.

[Photo via ABC]

Related Articles:

Saigon Police Battle Sidewalk Encroachment in D1

Inside Saigon Official’s Controversial Sidewalk-Clearing Campaign

Cars of Australian Diplomats Towed Due to D1's Sidewalk-Clearing Campaign

Related Articles

in Saigon

$100,000 Diamond Allegedly Vanishes From Woman’s Finger In HCMC Hotel

A Hanoi woman claims that she was drugged at a HCMC hotel last weekend and awoke to find that a $100,000 diamond had been pried from her ring.

in Saigon

100,000 Workers at Saigon Industrial Zones to Get Free WiFi by 2019

Workers at Saigon’s industrial zones can look forward to free WiFi access in the near future thanks to a new program.

in Saigon

100-Year-Old Trees In Front Of Opera House Cut Down To Make Way For Metro

Flower Street and the statues in front of Bến Thành Market aren’t the only sacrifices being made to accommodate the construction of Saigon’s first metro line.

in Saigon

122-Year-Old Saigon Woman Confirmed As World’s Oldest

The World Records Association (WRA) has completed the verification process and officially confirmed Saigon’s 122-year-old Nguyen Thi Tru, as the world’s oldest woman.

in Saigon

160 Wood Benches Being Added To Nguyen Hue Street

The trees that were cut down last July during construction of the metro station in front of the Saigon Opera House are making a comeback in the form of benches.

in Saigon

2 Men Arrested In HCMC For Trying To Ship Gun and Grenade In Guitar Case

Two local men were arrested last Tuesday after attempting to ship a rifle, grenade and 5 bullets to Hanoi in a guitar case. Surprisingly, neither of the men were Antonio Banderas.

Partner Content