I agree that traffic congestion is killing the beauty of Hanoi, quite literally. I commend all efforts by the government and others to control this growing problem.
One urgent measure that seems obvious to me is to totally ban private cars in the old quarter and other designated areas of the city. So many taxis drive around looking for a passenger, while at the same time large, private cars, often with only one or two people inside, take up precious road space, and stop traffic flow. If private cars were banned from the crowded city area, more people would use the taxis. Also, I think there should be a timetable to phase out petrol
motorbikes and replace them with nonpolluting electric bikes, as quickly as possible. This would improve the air quality which is already seriously unhealthy. Also, the electric cars touring the old quarter and Hoan Kiem Lake are an excellent example of what is possible. These could easily be extended to other streets, and become a cheap and convenient method of transport for both locals and tourists to reduce the use of polluting motorbikes. All these measures, and more, need the co-operation of the government and citizens to work together to make Hanoi a truly civilized and clean city.