Some experts have voiced their concerns over Hanoi’s proposals to ban motorbikes on two local streets, saying that it is infeasible.
Director of Hanoi Department of Transport Vu Van Vien confirmed at a meeting on March 11 that motorbikes will be banned on Nguyen Trai and Le Van Luong streets. This is the pilot programme for the motorbike ban in the city centre in 2030.
Dr. Nguyen Xuan Thuy, former director and editor-in-chief of Transport Publishing House said that, “The motorbike ban is infeasible. Why the city did not think of more appropriate ways to ease traffic jams, instead of doing this?”
Up to 70-80% of Vietnamese people use motorbikes, so people have questioned how can they travel when motorbikes are banned. Motorbikes are currently the best mode of transport for people, particularly public transport meets only 10% of demand.
Bui Danh Lien, former chairman of the Hanoi Transport Association, said that at peak hours, many vehicles often ignore traffic regulations, which is among reasons for the city’s congestion. It is necessary to raise public awareness of this.
Le Van Luong and Nguyen Trai are more than 10 kilometres long therefore it would be impossible to prohibit motorbikes there.
Lien added that Cat Linh-Ha Dong metro project which runs over Nguyen Trai Street was expected to become operational this year. So, if motorbikes were banned on Nguyen Trai, where can people have their motorbikes or bicycles to be kept to use the metro service.
It’d better for Hanoi authorities to work out solutions for public transport development. Once public transport is really good, people would actually prefer to use it rather than their own vehicles.
Thuy suggested that it is essential to reduce the construction of high-rise buildings at the city-centre area to mitigate traffic pressure and the city should build satellite urban areas.