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Hà Nội works to improve walking streets

Update: September, 08/2016 - 16:00
Walking streets around Hoàn Kiếm Lake attract thousands of people each day. — Photo Trọng Đạt
Viet Nam News

HÀ NỘI — Hà Nội’s Hoàn Kiếm District authorities said they would soon take measures to address problems arising from the opening of pedestrian areas around iconic Hoàn Kiếm (Returned Sword).

The review meeting was held yesterday, one week after the opening of the walking space, in response to public feedback.

The newly-opened pedestrian areas have been welcomed by thousands of people, including local and foreign tourists, who flock to the area to enjoy the walking space and a range of cultural, musical and art performances including photo exhibitions and dragon dancing. Most agreed that it created a comfortable and clean space for pedestrians to relax and be entertained on weekends.

However, many people also complained of some drawbacks, such as high parking fees, overcrowded parking lots and traffic jams on some streets leading to the pedestrian areas.

In addition, garbage was found in many places although the city had installed an additional 50 dustbins along these streets and assigned hundreds of sanitation workers to keep the space clean. This had polluted the environment and made the area look dirty.

Moreover, some people tried to ride electric bikes or electric motorbikes in the areas zoned off for pedestrians, threatening the safety of those walking.

Vice Chairman of Hoàn Kiếm District’s People’s Committee Đinh Hồng Phong said many people lacked awareness on how to maintain common spaces, while the shortage of security guards made it difficult to supervise every corner of the walking space.

To improve the situation, the committee will actively co-ordinate with relevant agencies to study and organise traffic smoothly to prevent traffic jams on streets leading to the walking areas around Hoàn Kiếm Lake and nearby areas, he added.

“We will also study more parking lots basing on the real demand of locals and tourists and increase supervision to prevent overcrowded parking lots and high parking fees,” he said.

The committee will entrust the Hà Nội Urban Environment Company to assign more sanitation workers on duty to collect garbage and install more mobile toilets in the walking streets, he said, adding that inspection would also be increased and those littering the area would be fined.

Pedestrian zones around Hoàn Kiếm Lake officially opened on September 1.

An estimated 3,000-5,000 people visit the pedestrian zones each day during the morning time, with the figure increasing to 10,000 at night. – VNS



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