HCMC to develop 22 hectare downtown walking street zone

The HCMC Department of Transport yesterday said that it had assigned the Urban Traffic Management Zone no.1 to be investor of a 22 hectare walking street zone in downtown HCMC.

Nguyen Hue walking street in HCMC (Photo: SGGP)

The project has been set up by Viet Duc Transport Study Center under Viet Duc University. The Transport Department will consider the outline of the project before submitting it to the HCMC People’s Committee by the end of April.

According to Southern Transport Design Consultancy Company, building HCMC traffic development plan by 2020, the walking street zone will be developed within the limit of 7.35 kilometers over the total area of 221 hectares.

The zone will comprise some stretches of streets including Le Duan, Nam Ky Khoi Nghia, Pasteur, Hai Ba Trung, Mac Dinh Chi, Nguyen Binh Khiem, Dong Khoi, Nguyen Hue, Nguyen Du, Ly Tu Trong, Le Loi and some other small roads in District 1.

The walking zone will locate in an area with many office buildings and cultural works such as the HCMC People’s Committee, the city People’s Court, Reunification Palace, Ben Thanh Market, Tao Dan Park, the Conservatory of HCMC, the Municipal Theatre of HCMC or Saigon Opera House, Saigon Zoo and Botanical Gardens, HCMC Medical University, HCMC University of Social Sciences and Humanities and hotels.

After being built, the zone will not permit travel of private vehicles. Therefore, parking lots will be built in surrounding streets such as Nguyen Thi Nghia, Le Lai, Pham Ngu Lao and Nguyen Huu Canh. Electric buses and monorail routes will be organized to facilitate travel of local citizens and passengers in the zone.

In short term, the Department of Transport will give priority to some eligible streets for implementing the project such as Nguyen Hue, Dong Khoi, Le Duan and Le Loi where the first metro line Ben Thanh-Suoi Tien will come into operation in the future.

In the early phase, the zone will be open for pedestrians in the evening on Saturday and Sunday and holidays. Afterwards, the opening time will gradually increase to the days of the week.

By Quoc Hung – Translated by Hai Mien

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