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Essay: Ho Chi Minh City still having traffic congestion in ten years

HCMC still having traffic congestion in ten years.

Translated into English by language123 (Thanh Hiếu) and my friend Phan Thị Mai Trang


In seminar on planning the urban transportation infrastructure held by the city People‘s Committee on Nov 28, Head of the city Department of Transportation and Public Works, Tran Quang Phuong mentioned a longterm strategy up to 2020 on the city development planning will encourage better traffic circulations; however, in some years later, the measures being temporarily applied are quite important. As mentioned above, the measures are re-organizing work and school hours, bringing the order for streets and pavements, changing congested streets into one-way, re-adjusting bus-transportation, speed up suspending infrastructure projects, imposing stronger penalties, setting up standing headquarters specializing in preventing gridlocks, educating the people on traffic regulations.

According to Mr. Phuong, the city’s greatest trouble is that the annual municipal budget for investing in traffic plans meets 12 percents of demand (approximately VND 5 trillion), the remaining percents of the demand is raised from various sources including issuing bonds.

Nguyen Thanh Chinh, the chief of the Department of Judiciary of the city People’s Council, pointed out some troubles in the measure. For example, there appear such a regulation where if any laborer violated the traffic laws more than 2 tiwce, they will not be awarded in their work and be send to the local authorities for being educated. .. “But who is the educator?” he worried. Giving free-tickets to customers taking buses before 6.30 am to increase the usage of busses is his another viewpoint. He quoted a funny statement that if cars are allowed to travel in odd or even days depending on their number plates, each family need to buy 2 cars for change so that this plan fall inio failure.

Meanwhile, delegates of the People’s Council appreciated the 2020 traffic planning projects. If we do not strictly conduct them, it takes a really long time for bringing back the urban traffic order.

Dang Van Khoa, one of the delegates of the Council affirmed “Without a determination, the city traffic congestion will become a disaster, and not only the city’s authorities but also its citizens take the responsibilities”. He added the 13-coming-year project has nothing new at all and will easily fall into a 12-year-suspending one in case we do not made up a revolution of drastically administrative reform so as to crush out completely the city’s traffic snarls in 2020.

Many of them are against the plan of colleting vehicle-owner fees. Nguyen Huu Tin, vice chairman of the city People’s Committee insisted HCMC would go on with the project of stacking work and school hours, dispersing disorder of streets and pavements…and maybe, there will have another project of reducing the number of vehicle-owners

The city’s traffic planning project up to 2020

Universities, colleges, vocational training schools will be moved out of the urban areas and HCMC will not allow new construction or expansion in the areas.

HCMC will develop more new towns surrounding the central city like the Thu Thiem town, the Cang Hiep Phuoc town, the Binh Quoi – Thanh Da town, the North-East high-technical Town

HCMC will adjust national railway planning by placing the last station in the surburban area and stop planning on construction of national railway route through the inner city.

It is necessary to accelerate investment procedures for the contruction of Long Thanh International Airport and to finish in the deadline of 2010.

In short term of 2008-2010, bus system is a main public transportation. However, when the urban subway-monorail system are publicly used, bus will be changed from the main mean into collecting transportation and will help to solve 12-14 percents of moving.

HCMC will build 7 highways:

HCMC – Trung Luong highway
HCMC – Long Thanh – Dau Giay highway
Tuy Hoa – Vung Tau highway
HCMC – Thu Dau 1 highway
HCMC – Moc Bai highway
Southern Inter-region highway
TPHCM – the West highway”

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