Saigon restarts plan to adjust school, office hours to fight gridlock

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]

With only a few more days to go before the grand opening of the walkway on April 20, what they say now probably won't matter much, but it indicates the city could have gone with more pleasing options. Architect Ngo Viet Son said the city authorities might have been too hasty in launching a walking street to celebrate the upcoming April 30 Reunification Day and did not think carefully about long-term issues. “At first glance Nguyen Hue is similar to a walking street in Shanghai, but it's actually very different. The Nanjing street in Shanghai is specialized in trading and services, while Nguyen Hue has mostly office towers and hotels.” Several other experts concurred that the city should have chosen Bui Vien -- a famous street in the city’s backpacker area -- for a walking street. According to Son, Nguyen Hue and nearby streets have high-rise buildings with insufficient parking lots. “The walking street will worsen the dearth when visitors have no parking space to visit the area,” he said. Nguyen Thanh Lam, an overseas Vietnamese who has traveled extensively, said any pedestrialization plan should not affect existing businesses on the street and the traveling of locals. Robert Tran, an investment consultant, said he often meets his customers in offices on Nguyen Hue. “With the scorching sun and temperature reaching 40 Celsius degrees sometimes, I already feel tired after walking for a short distance,” he said. Nguyen Hue should only ban vehicles after 6 pm to avoid traffic gridlocks in…... [read more]

Starting on October 19, the taskforce are assigned to the streets during rush hour -- 6:30-8:30 a.m. and 4-7:30 p.m. -- to assist regular traffic police officers, according to police director Nguyen Duc Chung. District police authorities have been ordered to mobilize all officers, militiamen and voluntary youths to regulate traffic, especially give instructions and encourage drivers to follow traffic laws to avoid accidents and gridlocks. Chung also instructed them to throw the book at and quickly deal with offenders. According to the city Department of Transport, the recent bad situation has been caused by the numerous construction projects and 23 sections that are vulnerable to flooding. One of the streets with frequent gridlocks, some of which last for hours, is Nguyen Trai Street where two railway construction works are going on. Many commuters complain that it often takes them several hours to travel just a few kilometers on major thoroughfares.... [read more]

Secretary of the Ho Chi Minh City Party Committee Dinh La Thang has laid out several measures to keep the city’s major airport and nearby streets from becoming over-congested ahead of the Lunar New Year. Secretary of the Ho Chi Minh City Party Committee Dinh La Thang has laid out several measures to keep the city’s major airport and nearby streets from becoming over-congested ahead of the Lunar New Year. The city's Party chief convened a working session at Tan Son Nhat International Airport on Sunday, addressing traffic jams and overcrowding at the facility prior to the coming Tet holiday, which falls on January 28. The airport welcomed over 32 million passengers in 2016, Secretary Thang stated, adding that the number could reach 40 million in 2017. Meanwhile, the airport’s design capacity is only 25 million people per annum, requiring prompt solutions to alleviate the immense pressure during this peak flying time of the year. Outdoor check-in procedure The high-ranking official suggested that passengers be able to complete their check-in procedures outside of the airport. Cabs should not be allowed to enter the airport, he continued, adding that a shuttle bus would carry passengers from the outdoor check-in area to their terminals inside the facility. Family members of flyers should also be well managed to prevent overcrowding, the secretary said. “If every passenger is accompanied by some 10 relatives and friends, no airport can handle such enormous pressure,” he remarked. Reporting to the city’s leader, Dang Tuan Tu, director of…... [read more]

Deputy Minister of Transport Le Dinh Tho has instructed relevant agencies to take necessary measures to ease the congestion on roads around Tan Son Nhat Airport during Tet (Lunar New Year). Speaking at a meeting with the city traffic authority this week, Tho said they should closely co-ordinate all works and traffic police officers should be posted near the airport during peak hours to quickly clear traffic jams. Tran Doan Mau, director of the Southern Airports Authority, said the number of passengers and frequency of flights during Tet would increase by 19.6 per cent this year. On peak days before Tết, the airport expects to handle 113,000 passengers and 776 flights, 92 flights more than last year, he said. The airport has set up more automatic check-in kiosks and screening machines and removed stalls to improve passengers' convenience, he said. The city police should keep an eye on small streets in the airport's vicinity and ensure vehicles are not parked there, blocking entry and exit, he said. Dang Tuan Tu, the airport director, said the gridlock in the area is caused by poor infrastructure and a large number of vehicles going on Truong Son Street past the airport. The traffic police should mobilise enough officers to regulate hot spots such as Trường Sơn Street, Lăng Cha Cả Roundabout, and the Hoang Van Thu - Nguyen Van Troi and Tran Quoc Hoan - Phan Thuc Duyen intersections, he said. Bui Xuan Cuong, director of the city Department of Transport, said since…... [read more]

Viet Nam News HCM CITY - Deputy Minister of Transport Lê Đình Thọ has instructed relevant agencies to take necessary measures to ease the congestion on roads around Tân Sơn Nhất Airport during Tết (Lunar New Year). Speaking at a meeting with the city traffic authority this week, Thọ said they should closely co-ordinate all works and traffic police officers should be posted near the airport during peak hours to quickly clear traffic jams. Trần Doãn Mậu, director of the Southern Airports Authority, said the number of passengers and frequency of flights during Tết would increase by 19.6 per cent this year. On peak days before Tết, the airport expects to handle 113,000 passengers and 776 flights, 92 flights more than last year, he said. The airport has set up more automatic check-in kiosks and screening machines and removed stalls to improve passengers' convenience, he said. The city police should keep an eye on small streets in the airport's vicinity and ensure vehicles are not parked there, blocking entry and exit, he said. Đặng Tuấn Tú, the airport director, said the gridlock in the area is caused by poor infrastructure and a large number of vehicles going on Trường Sơn Street past the airport. The traffic police should mobilise enough officers to regulate hot spots such as Trường Sơn Street, Lăng Cha Cả Roundabout, and the Hoàng Văn Thụ - Nguyễn Văn Trỗi and Trần Quốc Hoàn - Phan Thúc Duyện intersections, he said. Bùi Xuân Cường, director of the…... [read more]




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