Monday, November 19 2018

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Ancient city eyes on safe and ‘green’ traffic

Update: October, 15/2018 - 15:00
A pedestrian street in Hội An city. The ancient city plans to curb traffic noise from engine vehicle and over horning in creating more ’green’ and clean space for tourists. — VNS Photo Công Thành
Viet Nam News

HỘI AN — Hội An plans to curb noise from motorbike and car horns and to encourage modes of transport without engines to create a peaceful environment for tourists visiting the city.

Director of Hội An City’s Culture and Sports Centre, Võ Phùng told the Việt Nam News that the plan aims to restore tranquility of the UNESCO-recognised world heritage site.

Phùng said the city will raise awareness of gentle manners, hospitality and environment protection to make the city a safe and ‘clean’ destination.

“We have called for less ‘horning’ and reduced speed among motorbike, car and bus drivers in Hội An. Local residents are encouraged not to use plastic bags or single-use straws and cups, not to litter or encroach on public sidewalks for shopping,” Phùng said.

“The city will build a code of conduct for tourists at destinations, pagodas, the old quarter, heritage sites and public areas. We also warned shop and restaurant owners and souvenir sellers not to price gouge and harass tourists,” he said.

He added that the city will offer more ‘safe’ lanes for pedestrians on the streets and promote bicycle riding among locals and tourists.

The UNESCO-recognised world heritage city was the first city in central Việt Nam to host a ‘Car Free Day’ to reserve walking streets for pedestrians and non-engined vehicles in 2002.

Vice Chairman of the city’s People’s Committee Nguyễn Văn Sơn said the pedestrian area had been expanded to more streets in the city’s western region, near Hội An market and outside of the old quarter.

The walking streets in Hội An are often open from 9am to 11am in the morning and from 3pm till 9.30pm in rainy season or 10pm in summer. Motorbikes or vehicles with engines have access for four hours per day and at night time only.

The city also launched a 3-R (reduce, reuse and recycle) programme while promoting the use of reusable bags and the operation of a solar-powered lighting in the city’s square.

Hội An plans to promote bicycle use among public agencies, as well as boost bicycle use among local residents, with a goal of 100,000 local bicycles in use.

Hội An receives at least 10,000 vehicles each day, and congestion often occurs in the afternoon when coaches carrying tourists arrive. Motorbikes account for 77 per cent of vehicles in Hội An.

The city alone hosted nearly three million tourists in the first half of 2018, of which 50 per cent were foreigners. — VNS

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