HCMC plans to expand pedestrian pathways in downtown

TN News

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Ho Chi Minh City plans to take its first step towards expanding the city's walking space by closing certain roads to vehicle traffic.

The city administration has asked the Department of Architecture and Planning to further study the project, which is expected to create over 136 hectares of exclusive pedestrian space along Bui Vien and Dong Khoi Streets as well as the areas around the Ben Thanh Market, news website VnEpxress reported Wednesday.

The spaces would begin at September 23rd Park and continue to Quach Thi Trang Square in front of Ben Thanh Market, and Me Linh Point along the Saigon River.

The streets would be connected to major traffic spots such as the parking lot at September 23rd Park, high-rise buildings, and a metro station which the city plans to begin building by the end of this year.

The department urged city officials to encourage locals and tourists to walk by reserving the roads for pedestrians on weekends and the Lunar New Year, the country's longest holiday. 

The HCMC administration established the pedestrian project in 2003 but several proposals have been turned down since.

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In early 2011, the city decided to leave the project to the Architecture and Planning Department with consultation from the Spanish architecture firm IDOM.

In Hanoi, three roads surrounding President Ho Chi Minh's Mausoleum and the iconic One-Pillar Pagoda have been closed to vehicle traffic since May 19.  

Vendors have also been barred from the designated streets.

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