Experts identify reasons for HCMC traffic jam

Ho Chi Minh City has made great efforts to deal with traffic jam for the last decade, however, the condition has been found worsen because of many reasons such as unreasonable planning, people’s awareness of obeying traffic law, and overloaded traffic infrastructure.

Drastic measures needed to reduce traffic jam in HCMC (Photo: SGGP)

Deputy Director of the HCMC Department of Planning and Architecture Nguyen Hoai Nam said that it was very difficult to resolve traffic congestion in big city because if traffic jam was cleared at this position, vehicles would rush to other routes, causing new congested spots.
 
According to him, Pho Quang and Hoang Minh Giam Streets were not congested in the past but now. It is likely that because parts of Pham Van Dong Street have been opened to ease traffic pressure in the city eastern gateway and lured vehicles to Hoang Minh Giam Street, which connects with Pham Van Dong Street via Nguyen Thai Son-Pham Van Dong-Hoang Minh Giam roundabout.
 
Mr. Nam said that HCMC have recently opened for traffic four overpasses and Pham Van Dong Street, a remarkable achievement amid economic turmoil. However the Department of Transport should conduct studies and estimations on these works’ impacts on traffic in the area and in the city also.
 
An official from the HCMC Institute for Development Studies said that authorized agencies should keep updated with practical traffic conditions to make timely adjustments.

The 10 hours-long traffic jam in Hanoi Highway near Rach Chiec Bridge in January was started from a very simple cause.
 
Mr. Nguyen Ngoc Tuong, official from HCMC Traffic Safety Committee, said that initially determined reason was because container trucks stopped to do seaport entering procedures, which took a lot of time forcing trucks to line up from the port’s entrance to the road bed.

Relevant sides were too subjective in regulating traffic in the area as Hanoi Highway is the main route linking the city eastern gateway to center areas, he added. They should have cleared the congestion in front of the port immediately instead of letting it worse.
 
The asynchronous between construction of new roads and bridges and upgrading of old ones along Vo Van Kiet Boulevard across Districts 5 and 8 has been warned by many media agencies.

In addition, a local resident said that the presence of traffic police was extremely important to kept traffic fluent. When they are not there, traffic chaos usually occurs.
 
Planning limitations

Overloaded traffic infrastructure is one of reasons causing traffic jam in HCMC, according to the Department of Transport.

Along many streets, new buildings have been built to replace low-roofed houses and traffic conditions have become complicated. The buildings aim to gather local people to make room for road construction and tree planting.
 
However many investors of apartment blocks have been permitted to build more apartments for sale to make up investment costs, making supply far exceed resettlement demand of local people.
 
Local population increase will negatively affect traffic even when road infrastructure is completed.
 
Dr. Khuat Viet Hung from the National Traffic Safety Committee said that the problem is that housing and offices’ construction is faster than roads’.
 
In the center areas, buildings have been more and more constructed while the city’s metro route, underground parking lot and pedestrian street projects have not been built.

Land price in the city suburb is rather low attracting a lot of people who come to settle. However offices, amusement centers, schools and hospitals are positioned in the city’s center. They thus stream to the city’s center and return back to home everyday resulting in traffic jam at entrance gateways.

Related article:
HCMC faces traffic challenges

By Nguyen Khoa – Translated by Hai Mien

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