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Urban train project creates traffic chaos in Ha Noi

Update: January, 29/2015 - 10:20
Despite effort by the police to direct traffic, the situation cannot improve because there is nowhere for the vehicles to go. — Photo vietnamnet

HA NOI (VNS) — Building sites for Ha Noi's new overhead urban train project, including eight overhead stations, are hindering traffic on some of the capital's busiest routes.

The sites, in the centre of wide existing roads, accommodate large machines and workshops.

The site for the station No 8 in the centre of 23-metre wide Xuan Thuy Street in Cau Giay at present fill most of the road and run for 141m.

When work is completed in two years, the supports for the rail tracks and stations will take up about two metres of the existing road space, improving traffic flow considerably.

Work on the stations began in November last year, quickly bringing traffic to a crawl on the busy street.

It is common to see thousands of vehicles moving inch by inch during rush hours. Frustrated drivers often take to the footpaths in an effort to escape the traffic jam.

Despite effort by the police to direct traffic, the situation cannot improve because there is nowhere for the vehicles to go.

Hieu, a university student, who uses the street to go to school, said it takes him almost half an hour just to travel a few kilometres on his motorbike.

"Traffic is bad on this street. I have to leave the house almost an hour earlier to avoid being late for school," he said "I also stay at school after classes in the afternoon to avoid traffic hours. This means I end up going home late."

Luu, a senior resident in nearby Yen Hoa Commune, said heavy fumes belching from hundreds of vehicles was her biggest concern. She has to pick up her grandchildren from a kindergarten at the opposite end of the street five days a week.

The noise, smoke and smell of petrol make her concerned for the health of families in the area.

Other routes with traffic bottlenecks created by similar construction sites include Route 32 Cau Dien, Tran Phu Street in Ha Dong District.

Chairman of the city People's Committee Nguyen The Thao has ordered the city's Transport Department and traffic police to step up efforts to maintain traffic order.

The city also agreed to not to authorise additional construction projects in the area before the lunar holiday, or Tet.

Director of the Transport Department, Vu Van Vien, said the department would set up inspection teams to supervise the projects. — VNS

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