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It's Official: Hanoi Will Ban Motorbikes in Downtown Areas by 2030

Hanoi’s municipal officials recently gave the final nod to a plan to heavily restrict personal vehicle use in the city center.

According to Vu Van Vien, director of the Hanoi Department of Transport, the city People’s Committee signed off on the proposal to revamp the capital’s traffic usage for the period from 2017 to 2030, reports Tuoi Tre.

The multi-phase project involves a highly controversial ban on motorbikes and other stipulations regarding the use of cars, taxis and public transport in the city.

The project’s motorbike ban has been the center of contention ever since it was first mentioned a few months ago, especially when the Hanoi Police Department released the results of a survey claiming that 90% of local residents supported the ban.

Eventually, in July, the Hanoi People’s Council greenlit the proposal – including the motorbike restriction – to be passed on to the People’s Committee for approval.

Dan Tri also elucidated on the three main stages of the grand plan: from 2017 to 2018, from 2017 to 2020 and from 2017 to 2030.

During the first stage, Hanoi will “manage means of transport by classifying vehicles in districts,” as well as higher-level administration tasks.

Municipal officials will roll out measures to manage both the number and quality of personal vehicles during the second stage. For highly congested main streets, odd and even day license plate restrictions will be put in place. Meanwhile, the city will also push to flesh out its public transport network to supplement the personal vehicle restriction.

Then, time- and neighborhood-specific vehicle restrictions will be applied during the last phase in preparation for a complete limitation of motorbikes in Hanoi’s downtown area by 2030.

The traffic master plan will also touch on other forms of transport such as taxi cabs: a draft regulation released recently dictates that Hanoi’s cab companies would need to register their zone of operation – either urban or rural districts. Cabs from one zone wouldn't be able to enter the other.

Hanoi’s traffic revamp has generated a lot of discussion surrounding the use of vehicles in the capital. Most experts are against the blanket motorbike ban, especially since the city’s public transport system is not equipped to handle the additional volume of traffic from people leaving personal vehicles. Moreover, progress on the capital's metro lines has faced numerous delays over the years.

Some suggest that cars are a more appropriate target for the ban. “Four-wheel-drives are unnecessary, especially in cities because they take up space even though they often contain just one person,” writes Luke Hunt in The Diplomat.

[Photo via The Washington Post]

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