HA NOI — The Government Office has asked Ha Noi and HCM City authorities to study the feasibility of a proposal on banning private cars from inner cities for five hours each weekday.
|The Chua Boc intersection in Ha Noi is crowded with vehicles during rush hours. A proposal from a former pilot suggests the ban of cars in inner cities five hours each weekday. — VNA/VNS Photo Minh Quyet
The proposal, which was sent by former military pilot and amateur traffic policy developer Mai Trong Tuan to the Government Office, the Ministry of Transport and the two cities last month, suggested that the ban on private cars for five hours per day during weekdays instead of private motorbikes would ease traffic congestion in inner cities.
Previously, the Government required the Ministry of Transport to set up a plan on banning motorbikes in the two inner cities during certain times. The proposal on the ban is expected to go to the Government by the end of this year.
According to Tuan, the ban on motorbikes, which are believed to be the main cause of traffic jams, is not a good solution as it will directly impact more than 95 per cent of the city's people, who mostly move around by motorbike.
Speaking to Dan tri (People's Knowledge) online newspaper, Tuan said it was unreasonable to force people to park their motorbikes outside of banned areas or have to use other vehicles, which was inconvenient.
He said the boom in private vehicle ownership was in direct proportion to the construction of large roads and parking lots. To ease the situation, Tuan said, it would be better to ban cars as the number of people owning private cars was small.
These people could use motorbikes as an alternative during the times when the ban was in force, he said.
Tuan noted that cars accounted for only 10 per cent of the number of vehicles on the road, but they occupied 55 per cent of the road and 65 per cent of parking spaces.
However, the proposal has received strong opposition from traffic experts, who described it as "impractical" and "improper".
PhD Nguyen Quang Toan from the University of Transport said the ban on private cars might help ease traffic flow, but would cause socio-economic impact.
Five more no-parking streets named
HA NOI — Ha Noi People's Committee has agreed on a parking ban on pavements and streets in five more streets in Thanh Xuan District, bringing the total number of no-parking streets in the city up to 267.
Under the ban, which is a part of the city's attempt to ease traffic jams and congestion, no parking will be permitted along Nhan Hoa, Nguy Nhu Kon Tum, Nguyen Tuan and the street running alongside To Lich River. Parking lots along Vu Trong Phung will also be closed.
The city has asked the district's People's Committee to withdraw permits for parking lots on the above streets before Wednesday. — VNS
"Ha Noi is a political and economic centre and those who travel around by cars mostly do so for working purposes," he said. "It's totally unfair if private cars must give way to motorbikes."
Toan said the ban on public cars was impossible as "these cars already had priority to go first".
Le Do Muoi, head of the Transport Development and Strategy Institute's Urban Traffic Office, agreed, saying that no countries in the world had implemented a proposal on banning all cars the whole inner city.
"Ha Noi will be full of motorbikes," he said. "It will cause traffic chaos and do nothing in curbing traffic jams."
Experts suggested the city should build temporary flyovers at key traffic places, enlarge some routes and collect fees for cars entering central areas instead of banning cars. The ban on motorbikes should be implemented in 2015 when public transport has been developed further.
Ha Noi People's Committee Vice Chairman Nguyen Van Khoi has asked the municipal Department of Transport to report on the study's results to the city before May 15.
Currently, more than 4.8 million vehicles, about 446,000 of which are cars, are operating in Ha Noi. There are about 74 hotspots for traffic jams around the capital city. — VNS