HCM City authorities grapple with pedestrian access problems

February 27, 2023 - 08:25
A growing number of parked vehicles, vendors, and businesses are encroaching upon these spaces, rendering them virtually impassable to pedestrians.


The sidewalk along Phạm Văn Đồng street in HCM City's Bình Thạnh District is occupied by food and beverage businesses. VNA/VNS Photo

HCM CITY — The management and utilisation of sidewalks and roadways in HCM City has proven to be a persistent challenge for local authorities. 

A growing number of parked vehicles, vendors, and businesses are encroaching upon these spaces, rendering them virtually impassable to pedestrians 

Despite the existence of Decision No. 74/2008, which outlines the management and use of roadways and sidewalks by the city People's Committee, numerous shortcomings and practical issues persist.

In response, the city's Department of Transport has proposed to lease certain portions of local roadways and sidewalks for non-traffic activities. 

It said each street must allow at least a 1.5-meter-wide area of the sidewalk on both sides for pedestrian use before the sidewalk space is used for other purposes.

The permission to use sidewalks is considered and licensed by the People's Committee of Thủ Đức City and other 21 districts.

The People's Committee of District 3 has repeatedly proposed a plan to collect fees for using sidewalk spaces, replacing No Decision No 74/2008.

Lê Anh Tuấn Kiệt, deputy head of the urban order management team in District 3, told Thanh Niên (Youth) newspaper that since 2020, the local authorities had the plan to use part of roadways and sidewalks for lease and use that money to support disadvantaged families.

At present, local people were using the sidewalks with no fee, he said, adding that he supported the plan of the Department of Transport.

According to Đỗ Anh Khang, vice-chairman of Gò Vấp District People's Committee, streets with commercial and service centres should be facilitated to use part of sidewalks and roadways temporarily. 

Khang said the district was waiting for the guidance of the city.

The fee collection was expected to apply only to several specific locations.

The city People's Committee Chairman Phan Văn Mãi said street planning was the most important issue in pavement management and use. Therefore, the city would determine the used sidewalk areas for purposes other than traffic and how to manage them.

The Department of Transport was assigned to study the issue.

The City's Party Committee recently issued Directive No. 22 requesting to strengthen the management of roadways and sidewalks to ensure enough space for pedestrians and public transport, strictly manage the temporary use of roadways and sidewalks for other purposes, including selling goods, parking lots, transport hubs for storing materials used in construction work and have sanctions for violations. 

The directive also mentions adding more walking streets to create a clean and fresh space for people. VNS