Many people complain people in Vietnam rarely walk and rely too heavily on motorbikes.
While people in other countries are willing to walk for several kilometers to work, supermarket or metro rail station, the Vietnamese depend on the motorbike even when their destination is within walking distance.
Is it true that Vietnamese don't usually walk because they don't like it?
It seems that foreigners, who have a habit of walking in their home country, also prefer riding bikes when they are in Vietnam. The reason for their new choice here isn't curiosity only. They are concerned about the safety of walking in the street, as Vietnam has little space dedicated to pedestrians. Newly built bridges, streets, and big highways all lack the necessary space for basic safety.
Meanwhile, when there is a sidewalk, it is taken up by motorbike parking and street vendors. During traffic jams motorbikes will aggressively and impatiently use sidewalks as extra lanes. Even though the pedestrian's space is being invaded, they often receive cursed and injured by motorbike riders when they happen to be in the way.
The zebra crossings are also completely disregarded by riders, who are allowed to turn right on red under Vietnam's laws. They sometimes drive straight through red lights even if they happen to be on the wrong side of the road.
It's not that Vietnamese people don't like walking, but in fact, they don't have a choice. No one wants to endure the danger, the noisy streets, asthmatic exhausts, and abuse by motorbike riders.
If agencies in charge of traffic infrastructure don't give more thoughts to pedestrians, people will keep turning to motorbikes, which will worsen traffic and related problems.