Hanoi bans cabs and cars from traffic hotspots during rush hour

Saigon’s top official has ordered the city to speed up road construction or face the prospect of an even more congested urban environment. “With the current speed of construction, it will take another 167 years for Ho Chi Minh City to reach national standards,” Nguyen Thien Nhan, the city’s Communist Party chief, said at a meeting on Friday. The city is “very short of road space,” he said. Road density in the megacity is 1.98 kilometers per square kilometer, while the national standard for urban areas is 10 kilometers for every square kilometer. He said the city needs “urgent breakthroughs” if it wants to end its dire traffic problems. "We must speed up road construction by sevenfold in the next 25 years," he said. A detailed roadmap has not been publicly discussed, and it’s not clear if the construction rush will involve the felling of more trees as it did for the recent metro line and road expansion projects. HCMC, the country’s most crowded city with 13 million people, has been struggling to deal with worsening traffic congestion in recent years. Last December, the city released reports showing that it has run out of space for vehicles. There are now 7.6 million motorbikes and 700,000 cars in the city, with another 850 motorbikes and 180 cars hitting the roads every day, according to official figures. There are plans in HCMC as well as Hanoi to restrict and eventually ban motorbikes from downtown streets by 2030. Cars will not be subject…... [read more]

According to the HCMC Department of Transport, traffic jams regularly occur in three areas including Lang Cha Ca roundabout, streets close to the airport and Nguyen Thai Son-Nguyen Kiem intersection. Of these, Lang Cha Ca roundabout often congests because of a bottleneck in Tran Quoc Hoan street. Traffic jams in areas close to the airport start from Hoang Minh Giam-Dao Duy Anh intersection to Pho Quang and Truong Son street. At the meeting, many experts proposed to connect Tran Quoc Hoan street to an internal road in the nearby military area for vehicles to travel straightly to Hoang Hoa Tham street and reduce traffic gridlock in Lang Cha Ca. However, some experts said that if traffic is organized according the above measure, vehicles will still travel to Cong Hoa street and traffic jams might occur there. The Department of Transport suggested linking traffic from Tran Quoc Hoan up to Truong Chinh street and broaden Tran Quoc Hoan street from 5 meters to 14 meters. An investor has suggested building a flyover running from international to domestic terminals of Tan Son Nhat Airport and reach Nguyen Van Troi street. Traffic police force should regularly patrol and penalize wrong parking vehicles while ward authorities should tackle road and pavement encroachments. Mr. Dang Tuan Tu, director of Tan Son Nhat Airport, put forward a ban on trucks in Truong Son street except those serving the airport, build a flyover from Tran Quoc Hoan across Hoang Van Thu Park to reach Nguyen Van…... [read more]

A congested expressway in southern Vietnam is frustrating travelers who depend on the thoroughfare to ease their commute. The construction of Long Thanh International Airport in the namesake district in Dong Nai Province, about 40 kilometers from Ho Chi Minh City, is causing bumper to bumper traffic in the area. The most serious of these congestion problems takes place on an expressway connecting Ho Chi Minh and Long Thanh, with commuters finding themselves trapped in hours-long gridlock each weekend. According to an observation by Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper reporters, endless lines of vehicles stretched endlessly down the expressway beginning at the Long Phuoc toll station in District 9. “We pay a toll for the expressway just to be caught in traffic jams even more severe than on regular roads,” a car driver complained. Truck drivers who depend on the route also complain that the bottleneck is causing them to fall behind schedule. During the weekend, it usually takes an hour to travel the three-kilometer section, Nguyen Van Phu, a regular commuter, added. While the designated speed of the expressway is 120km per hour, traffic jams often slow vehicles to no more than 10km per hour. Congestion also occurs at the road's entrance near the An Phu traffic knots, the meeting points of Luong Dinh Cua, Mai Chi Tho, and Nguyen Thi Dinh Streets in District 2. According to the Vietnam Expressway Services Engineering JSC (VEC E), the number of vehicles traveling on the…... [read more]

The construction of Long Thanh International Airport in the namesake district in Dong Nai Province, about 40 kilometers from Ho Chi Minh City, is causing bumper to bumper traffic in the area. The most serious of these congestion problems takes place on an expressway connecting Ho Chi Minh and Long Thanh, with commuters finding themselves trapped in hours-long gridlock each weekend. According to an observation by Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper reporters, endless lines of vehicles stretched endlessly down the expressway beginning at the Long Phuoc toll station in District 9. “We pay a toll for the expressway just to be caught in traffic jams even more severe than on regular roads,” a car driver complained. Truck drivers who depend on the route also complain that the bottleneck is causing them to fall behind schedule. During the weekend, it usually takes an hour to travel the three-kilometer section, Nguyen Van Phu, a regular commuter, added. While the designated speed of the expressway is 120km per hour, traffic jams often slow vehicles to no more than 10km per hour. Congestion also occurs at the road's entrance near the An Phu traffic knots, the meeting points of Luong Dinh Cua, Mai Chi Tho, and Nguyen Thi Dinh Streets in District 2. According to the Vietnam Expressway Services Engineering JSC (VEC E), the number of vehicles traveling on the expressway in the first half of 2017 increased by 17 percent year-on-year. That number means that 43,000 vehicles…... [read more]

Saigon is revisiting a plan to change school and office hours in an attempt to stagger the amount of traffic hitting the city's streets during rush hours. At a meeting with Mayor Nguyen Thanh Phong on Monday, local residents complained that the city has spent a lot of time and money on improving traffic infrastructure, but chronic gridlock persists. They said the city's population has climbed to 13 million, but upgrades to traffic infrastructure have not kept pace with growing transport pressure, local media reported. In response, Phong said the city hall would revert back to the original plan of adjusting school and office hours, adding it would look at proposals from district-level authorities before coming up with a final solution. In May, the city assigned several agencies to develop a plan to be submitted before July 30. The city’s transport department first mooted the idea in 2001 and returned to it in 2007 and 2009, but it never got off the ground. Last year, the department put the plan forward again. Its details have remained unclear. Authorities are pushing ahead with two metro lines and a bus rapid transit (BRT) project along with new bus terminals in outlying areas in an attempt to reduce traffic jams. They are also looking at ways to cut private vehicles from downtown areas as another way of easing congestion, Bui Xuan Cuong, the director of the city’s transport department, said in April. As of April 15, the city has around eight million…... [read more]

MOSCOW: President Vladimir Putin on Sunday (Jul 30) said the United States would have to cut 755 diplomatic staff in Russia and warned of a prolonged gridlock in its ties after the US Congress backed new sanctions against the Kremlin. This photo taken on May 7, 2013 shows Russian and the US flags running up as the US Secretary of State arrives at Moscow Vnukovo Airport. (Photo: AFP/Mladen Antonov) Putin added bluntly that Russia was able to raise the stakes with America even further, although he hoped this would be unnecessary. On Friday, the Russian foreign ministry demanded Washington cut its diplomatic presence in Russia by Sep 1 to 455 people - the same number Moscow has in the US. "More than a thousand people - diplomats and technical personnel - were working and are still working" at the US embassy and consulates, Putin said in an interview with Rossia-24 television. "755 people must stop their activities in Russia." The US State Department, solicited for a response by AFP, said it did not comment on "the number" of US officials serving abroad. Putin added that an upturn in Russia's relations with Washington could not be expected "any time soon". "We have waited long enough, hoping that the situation would perhaps change for the better," he said. "But it seems that even if the situation is changing, it's not for any…... [read more]

Multiple flyovers in Ho Chi Minh City designed to alleviate traffic in the southern metropolis are proving ineffective against the city’s growing congestion. Authorities in the southern metropolis are planning to construct more than 100 overpasses at local traffic hotspots by 2020 in a bid to reduce traffic jams, though many of the structures already put into operation have failed to meet expectations. Out of 13 flyovers built over the past five years, only those at Cay Go Roundabout in District 11 and the Nguyen Tri Phuong – 3/2 intersection in District 10 have shown positive results in minimizing gridlock in their respective areas. Four other overpasses in Binh Tan District have also played their part in reducing average commutes from 60 minutes to 20 minutes. Others construction projects, however, have fallen short of expectations, namely the flyover at Lang Cha Ca Roundabout in Tan Binh District near the entrance of Tan Son Nhat International Airport. Local residents still consider commuting through the traffic circle an agonizing journey complete with snail-paced traffic, heavy volumes of vehicle exhaust, and a high risk of traffic accidents. Despite the frequent intervention by traffic police, the area’s streets are still in chaos, said Nguyen Thanh Binh, who works near Lang Cha Ca. At Thu Duc Intersection located in the namesake district, a flyover only provides a smooth journey for vehicles traveling on the structure while surrounding streets such as Le Van Viet and Vo Van Ngan…... [read more]

This is the traffic situation on Truong Son Street, which leads to Tan Son Nhat, Vietnam’s biggest airport in Ho Chi Minh City. Truong Son Street usually receives high traffic volumes from Pham Van Dong and Bach Dang streets, so gridlock has been the story of its life for years. "Traffic will paralyze every single time there are more trucks or cars than usual on the streets near Tan Son Nhat. Today it takes me more than 40 minutes to go from Thu Duc District to Tan Binh District, twice the normal time,” said a xe om (motorbike taxi) driver named Nam. Early this month, a new overpass costing VND242 billion ($10.6 million) was opened ovver Truong Son Street, allowing cars and buses to go straight to the domestic and international terminals. But the ugly truth here is that it has not helped to ease the gridlock. “Only people who need to go to the airport use the overpass, but everyone else on Truong Son Street is still stuck,” a local named Thanh Thao said. This man had no chance of reaching the overpass, so he decided to walk to the airport. “I transport goods near Tan Son Nhat airport every day, but today it's taken almost an hour to move four kilometers, said truck driver Phan Van Che.” These drivers have resorted to the sidewalk. Another overpass costing VND504 billion is being built near Tan Son Nhat. But Bui Xuan Cuong, the director of Saigon’s transport department, agrees that these bridges will not solve the…... [read more]

Check out the news you should not miss today, January 21, the 24th day of the last month of the lunar calendar, or ten days away from the Tet, or Lunar New Year holiday. Check out the news you should not miss today, January 21, the 24th day of the last month of the lunar calendar, or ten days away from the Tet, or Lunar New Year holiday. Politics -- Vietnam is ready to send more officers to UN peacekeeping operations, Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Vietnam People’s Army Pham Ngoc Minh asserted at talks with a delegation of the UK army medical services in Hanoi on Friday -- Vietnam's Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc wrapped up his participation at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland on Friday, having engaged in a continuous series of sessions and meetings with world and business leaders as part of his sideline activities. Society -- Vietnam's State President Tran Dai Quang met 50 overseas Vietnamese delegates in Hanoi on Friday, hailing their contributions to the country’s achievements. -- A Kilo-class submarine, the sixth and last of its kind Vietnam has purchased from Russia, arrived at Cam Ranh military port in the central coastal province of Khanh Hoa on Friday, after a 40-day journey -- Major streets in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City suffered gridlock during rush hours on Friday, one week before Tet officially begins. -- The Hanoi traffic police unit has proposed to stipulate that each…... [read more]

The neutral Alpine state threatened this month to impose unilateral curbs on immigration should it fail to agree with the EU on limiting the influx into a small country where nearly a quarter of the population is now foreign. Switzerland and its most important trading partner have been gridlocked over how to implement a binding 2014 Swiss referendum in favor of immigration quotas that would violate a bilateral pact guaranteeing freedom of movement for EU citizens. Engineered by the anti-immigration Swiss People's Party (SVP) and driven by increasing fears for the country's vaunted stability, security and affluence, the referendum has jeopardized other Swiss-EU treaties that govern bilateral economic ties and stand or fall together. Unilateral moves could lead the EU to scrap the entire package of bilateral accords, dealing a heavy blow to Swiss trade. Both sides are examining a solution that would uphold Switzerland's constitutional obligation to implement the referendum while also maintaining the Free Movement of Persons act, the Swiss government said. Swiss President Simonetta Sommaruga met European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and European Council President Jean Asselborn in Brussels on Monday to discuss the matter. An article of the agreement stipulates that a joint committee may act to remedy severe economic or social problems at the request of either party. "We're still trying to adopt rules on the basis of Article 14(2) of the Free Movement agreement that would allow us to bring our relations with Switzerland in order," Juncker said in his opening remarks to the…... [read more]




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