Last week, Việt Nam News asked its readers about a recent draft plan by Hà Nội authorities to ease traffic congestion by banning motorbikes from other provinces from entering the city. Here are some of their ideas:
Andrew Burden, Canadian, Hà Nội
Restricting out of town motorbikes into Hà Nội is a foolish, illogical and discriminatory gesture. If Hà Nội is too congested, don’t blame outsiders. There are always new ways to approach traffic woes. Besides, who will deliver your rice, fruit and flowers?
Start by alternating temporary traffic lanes inbound during morning rush hour and outbound during evening rush home. Enforce car pooling by filling up those empty Range Rovers and Mercedes. The rich guys are probably the ones complaining, but they’re the real problem!
There are many contributing factors. Why are the garbage collectors pushing their carts on main streets? Clean is great, but not during rush hour - plan your route. Create optimum traffic flowcharts and broadcast local maps with best route and estimated travel times.
Some mega cities alternate cars from driving on even and odd calendar days, depending on the last digit of the license plate. Another method of traffic control is to encourage flexible work hours and working from home.
Phạm Thu Trà, Vietnamese, Hà Nội
I go to work by motorbike and I often feel uncomfortable. I meet traffic jams almost every day. My colleagues say that one of the most important reasons is that the city has too many motorbikes. I agree, but do not agree with the measure of banning motorbikes from other provinces. It can lead to discrimination between people living in and out of the city, and in fact, even without motorbikes from other provinces, Hà Nội still has a traffic crisis.
In my opinion, if city authorities issue a ban, they should ban all motorbikes, both from Hà Nội and other provinces. On the other hand, they should develop the public traffic system, and give more and more education on traffic laws to residents, children and students. I believe that these measures would help ease residents’ concern about driving in the city.
Nguyễn Tiến Thành, Vietnamese, Hà Nội
Personal vehicles, especially motorbikes, are the main reason for traffic jams so I agree with the plan of banning motorbikes. But, together with the ban, municipal authorities should have other measures ease residents’ travel by developing urban infrastructure and public transportation. Moreover, motorbikes are now the most popular vehicles for local residents because they can easily drive through small streets and alleys. If the authorities ban motorbikes without any plan for other vehicles to replace motorbikes, they will make residents furious and therefore the plan will be impossible.
With the present traffic infrastructure, traffic jams will still happen even without motorbikes. For instance, the roads are too narrow for two buses running in opposite directions.
One more measure should be considered before banning motorbikes - set up a plan to buy back old motorbikes. Otherwise, what can they do with the unused motorbikes?
The system of schools from kindergarten to university should also be relocated to make them accessible to public vehicles.
Bruno Delobel, Belgium, HCM City
Really? Hà Nội authorities plan to ban motorbikes from other provinces entering the city to solve the traffic crisis? It sounds ridiculous!
I think the city can have better solutions to reduce traffic jams.
I wonder how people from other provinces can enter the city without their motorbikes. Some may suggest using buses, but everyone knows that buses are not practical and are very slow. Buses can not be found in every corner of different provinces.
During my long stay in Việt Nam, I met many merchants from different provinces transporting goods to Hà Nội for sale in city market. Without motorbikes, how will they enter the city, sell goods and earn their livings? This plan will surely have a bad impact on their lives and affect economic development.
I think that to cope with traffic jams in Hà Nội, the Government should think of reducing the number of four-wheeled cars. When being on the road during rush hours, I have often seen many cars with only one driver. They occupy a lot of space on the road, but don’t transport a lot of people. Next to these empty cars are hundreds of motorbikes fighting with each other for space. If there were less empty cars, there would be more room for motorbikes… I’ve noticed that many Vietnamese people use cars even for short distances just to show how rich they are. While in Europe many people refuse to use cars, in Việt Nam it’s another mentality. — VNS