Angled street-parking sparks controversy in Ha Noi CBD

Update: July, 11/2014 - 09:20

Last week, Viet Nam News asked readers to share their ideas about a Western style angle parking for cars two downtown streets, Tran Hung Dao and Ly Thuong Kiet. We received comments from our domestic and foreign readers, some backed the idea, others did not.

Viet Ha, Vietnamese, Ha Noi

In Tran Hung Dao Street, car parking has been set up in front of clothes shops and restaurants, and this has affected business. Local authorities should ensure harmonious interests among car owners, road users and shop or restaurant owners.

The new style of parking has encroached on about 5m of road compared to the old style. This will inevitably lead to more traffic jams at rush hours.

Car drivers should be forced to pay for multi-level parking lots so that other people can use the roads.

John Macdonald, Australian, Ha Noi

So, there is a plan to try out angle parking in two of Ha Noi's busiest streets. Nothing wrong with this, except the person in charge should identify himself and take the blame for making a mess of things from the beginning.

Since the cars started parking on one side of Ly Thuong Kiet a week or so ago, traffic has had to shift about five metres towards the centre.

Indeed, there now actually appear to be two sets of white lines down the "middle of the road," making it impossible for drivers to know where they are supposed to be.

Cars using one white line often come face to face with drivers going the other way using the other white line.

It is farcical, almost as stupid as letting eight-year-old race around the city three abreast on their electrified bicycles. These children haven't the slightest idea about traffic rules, even less than the average Ha Noi driver. And they never wear helmets!

Officialdom, as always, has a reason for allowing these sort of things to occur. The endless pointing-finger game comes into full play. It is always some one else's fault or, unfortunately, the regulations don't cover this activity.

No mention of amending the regulations or doing something sensible to control a freakish problem. One wonders how far this pre-occupation with giving babies adult rights will be allowed to grow.

Ha Noi is a leading Asian city, and an ancient one. It would be a relief if it started to act its age instead of appearing to succumb to it.

Andrew Burden, Canadian, Ha Noi

Why don't we create more motorbike lanes, instead of pandering to large, slow moving cars? I turned onto Tran Hung Dao Street a couple of days ago unaware of the new parking style. I freaked out a little bit when I saw a dozen cars parked slanted facing into the street.

It is virtually impossible to see if there are any drivers inside or if the cars are running or not. Angle parking back home is done by parking facing the curb. This outwards facing move is worrisome.

It is only a matter of time until drivers become complacent inside their rich, climate-controlled cages and drive out without looking or signalling. Considering the density of traffic, cars should always take second place to motorbikes.

Cars are too slow, take up too much space and are not practical in crowded cities. Parked cars take up one extra lane that could be used by buses or packs of motorbikes. Make car owners take taxis or punish them brutally and force them to ride bicycles!

Charge larger cars more for entering into the downtown core. After all, they take up more space. Fill up the seats by car-pooling. Angled parking is a warped idea. Send this policy back to the drawing board.

Hoang Phuong, Vietnamese, Ha Noi

I welcome the idea. My office building is located in Ly Thuong Kiet Street. Previously, I felt miserable because I could not find out a slot to park my car.

I bet that everyone driving car to go to work like me would have the same feeling. Or they at least were overcharged. Car-parking fee here depended on keepers. Before the plan kicked off, I had to pay a monthly fee of VND1 million (US$50).

If you did not pay a monthly fee, you had to pay 60,000-80,000 (US$3-4) to park until noon, and about VND100,000 ($5) to park until 6pm.

When the plan started, people, who often parked their cars along the street, supported the idea. The fee is fixed and costs about VND30,000 ($1.50) per car to park in the morning. It is really a good idea.

Authorised agencies should multiply the model in other streets of the city. — VNS