‘Diplomatic’ streets must not be turned into walking streets: Vietnam ministry

Thanh Nien News

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A busy corner near the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum in Hanoi. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has opposed a plan initiated by city authorities to turn two streets near the mausoleum into pedestrian-only areas. Photo: Ngoc Thang
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has asked the Hanoi government to reverse a decision to turn two streets near the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum into walking streets given the diplomatic significance of the roads.
According to the ministry, Ton That Dam and Doc Lap streets should be excluded from the list of streets to be made exclusively for pedestrians under a plan initiated by the Hanoi People’s Committee, the municipal administration.
According to the plan, the two Ba Dinh District streets will be turned into walking streets on May 19 along with Bac Son and Ba Huyen Thanh Quan streets to mark what will be the 124th birthday of Vietnam's revered founding president Ho Chi Minh.
The Hanoi city administration has encouraged local people to use public transportation to get to the four streets; otherwise, the residents can park their personal vehicles at a parking lot at Bach Thao Park before entering the walking streets.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said its headquarters is located on Ton That Dam Street; therefore, a huge flow of vehicles must use the street to enter the ministry’s office.
Similarly, Doc Lap Street is frequently traveled by government-owned vehicles as many government offices are located there, it said.
It would be inconvenient and cumbersome for high-ranking delegations if they have to use other streets to get to the offices, the ministry argued.
The Party Central Committee's Commission for Foreign Affairs also asked the Hanoi authorities to keep Doc Lap Street the way it is given the importance of diplomatic transport and security reasons.
The Hanoi People’s Committee has asked the municipal Department of Transport and Ba Dinh District authorities to further study to proposed measures to implement the walking-street plan in the most appropriate way.
On May 19, 2012, Hanoi turned three streets around the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum – Chua Mot Cot, Ong Ich Khiem and Nam Hung Vuong – into walking streets.

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