Viet Nam News
HCM CITY – Since Monday roads leading to HCM City’s Tân Sơn Nhất airport have clogged by traffic though the four-day weekend extending into Reunification Day (April 30) and Labour Day (May 1) does not begin till Saturday.
On Monday afternoon thousands of vehicles were stuck on Bạch Đằng and Trường Sơn streets up to Lăng Cha Cả roundabout for hours, causing traffic to spill over into nearby streets like Cộng Hòa, Hoàng Văn Thụ, and Trần Quốc Hoàn.
Motorbikes clambered on to the pavements as usual, worsening the situation.
Hoàng Mai of Bình Tân District told Thanh Niên (young people) newspaper that the traffic did not ease up until 8pm.
“As the holiday draws closer people will be rushing to the airport, and it surely will be worse.”
According to Bùi Xuân Cường, director of the transport department, roads near the airport are traffic hotspots since they are also gateways to south-eastern and south-western provinces.
The number of vehicles using these roads is increasing but traffic infrastructure is not keeping pace, he said.
A number of works to reduce congestion will be undertaken in the area in the next couple of years.
But out of a planned 15, only eight have been approved or begun so far, with one, the flyover on Trường Sơn and the road connecting Tân Sơn Nhất – Bình Lợi and the outer beltway (including Hồng Hà, Bạch Đằng and Phạm Văn Đồng streets) has been completed.
The first stage of an N-shaped flyover at the Nguyễn Thái Sơn-Nguyễn Kiệm roundabout in Gò Vấp District near the airport has opened to traffic, and the rest of it is expected to be completed some time this year.
Other plans include expanding and upgrading Hoàng Minh Giám, Hoàng Hoa Thám, Cộng Hòa, Trường Chinh and Tân Kỳ Tân Quý streets, but are awaiting land acquisition.
“There are many challenges in terms of land and capital [availability] but the city is speeding up work to complete the works on schedule to reduce congestion in this area,” Cường said.
In the meantime, to regulate traffic and ensure safety during the upcoming holidays, the city has stationed task forces at traffic hotspots near the airport to quickly handle problems and repair sinkages and other damages to streets.
Police officers are diverting traffic during peak hours in Tân Bình, Phú Nhuận and Gò Vấp districts and imposing severe penalties on people parking illegally on streets.—VNS
Tackling illegal pick-up/drop-off
The chief inspector of the city’s transport department, Trần Quốc Khánh, said the department would monitor Tân Sơn Nhất Airport, Sài Gòn Train Station, and the Eastern and Western bus stations to ensure safety and vehicle quality standards are not violated.
With lots of people travelling during the national holidays, the department will keep an eye out for buses picking them up illegally at non-designated locations, especially around Kinh Dương Vương Street in Bình Tân District, Điện Biên Phủ in Bình Thạnh District and Nguyễn Thái Bình, Phó Đức Chính and Võ Văn Kiệt streets in District 1.—VNS