by Xuan Hiep
HCM CITY — Confounding and downright bizarre street names, many of them new and located in resident areas, are adding to the chaos of streets in HCM City, making it difficult for residents and others to find addresses.
A number of streets off Phan Van Hon Street in Hoc Mon District's Xuan Thoi Thuong Village have names that are hard to understand, including XTT 4 and XTT 8-7A.
Then there is the Cuu Chien Binh Khong Rac (Veteran No Garbage) Street, which makes no sense in Vietnamese.
Similarly, in District 12, many street names have been reduced to abbreviations: TMT 01, TMT 02, TMT 2A, TMT 14A (Trung My Tay Ward), TTH 01, TTH 02 (Tan Thoi Hiep Ward), or TTN 01, TTN 14 and TTN 17 (Tan Thoi Nhat Ward).
Another problem is many streets in certain areas have very similar names, like Bau Cat 1, Bau Cat 2 and Bau Cat 3 streets in Tan Binh District.
Other names difficult to understand can be seen in Binh Tan: Lien Khu (interregional) 2-5, Lien Khu 10-11 and Lien Khu 16-18, among others.
In Binh Thanh District and District 6, street names that are puzzling include Tan Thang, Cong Hop and Cong Lo (not translatable into English) and Dien Cao The (hi-voltage electricity).
Some streets that have yet to be named officially have temporary names given by residents that sound like directions. For instance, Binh Chanh District has a street called Duong vao Trung tam Thuong mai Binh Dien (Way to Binh Dien Trade Centre).
In District 9, the names of many historical heroes and heroines like Tran Hung Dao, Ngo Quyen and Hai Ba Trung are given to very small streets, if not alleys, while many of the larger ones are just given numbers.
Who is responsible for this?
Although HCM City has had a committee over the last 15 years to name and rename streets, it has not been able to prevent the creation of names that make no sense and are hard to remember.
Of more than 1,500 streets in the city, over 300 streets sharing the same names in many districts.
The names frequently used include Le Loi, Nguyen Truong To, Lam Son and Tran Hung Dao. As many as four streets in districts 1 and 5 as well as Tan Binh are named Tran Hung Dao.
Observers have said there are enough well known people, Heroic Mothers, famous places or other attributes and characteristics that can be used to name new streets.
According to the Department of Transport, the chaos in naming streets in the city has caused it a lot of trouble.
It says the procedures for naming and renaming streets are complicated and needs the involvement of various agencies.
It has asked the Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism to work with district administrations and other relevant agencies to improve the mechanisms and procedures for naming and renaming the streets in the city towards removing and avoiding the current confusions. — VNS