HCMC campaigns for walking streets

HO CHI MINH CITY, 11 April 2017: Ho Chi Minh City’s Department of Transport has proposed opening eight pedestrian streets in downtown districts.

Local media reported the decision is part of a programme to reduce traffic congestion and cut accidents in the city by 2020.

The downtown area will be divided into five zones, covering eight streets. At least part of the streets will be transformed into pedestrian only zones.

The streets are Dong Khoi, Huynh Thuc Khang, Ton Duc Thang, Le Loi, Nguyen Hue, Pham Ngoc Thach, Vo Van Tan and Tran Cao Van.

The Department of Transport has also asked the Urban Traffic Management Unit No 1 to set up a 220 ha pedestrian area in downtown districts, the report said.

The area would include existing cultural, historical and service buildings, including the city People’s Committee building, Reunification Palace, Ben Thanh Market, Opera House, Tao Dan Park and Sai Gon Zoo.

Based on research  in other countries, the department will also identify  cultural and entertainment activities that could be hosted in downtown areas to increase tourism appeal.

The departments will organise a seminar to monitor public opinion following consultations with specialists and other agencies.

Ho Chi Minh City targets 6 million international visitors in 2017. The city welcomed more than 5.2 million foreign tourists last year, a rise of 10% against 2015.