Heavy traffic jams blocked most of the main roads in Ho Chi Minh City Friday evening after the city enclosed a large downtown area to prepare for celebrations of the upcoming national holidays.
The traffic congestion started at around 6 p.m., almost immediately after the first barriers were put up to block some downtown roads.
The red strip marks the area closed to traffic
Cach Mang Thang Tam, one of the busiest streets in the city, saw the most severe congestion, with long lines of vehicles stretching more than two kilometers.
At nearly 7 p.m., traffic police had to lift the barriers on Nguyen Thi Minh Khai Street in an attempt to ease the gridlock.
The congestion reportedly started to clear after nearly two hours late.
Earlier on Thursday, the Transport Department said that downtown sections of Cach Mang Thang Tam, Nguyen Thi Minh Khai, Nguyen Binh Khiem, Nguyen Huu Canh, Ton Đuc Thang, Ham Nghi, Le Lai, and Pham Hong Thai – the red strip on the map – would be blocked, creating a temporary no-vehicle zone.
Vehicles would not be allowed to enter the zone from 7 p.m. to midnight. on April 24, and from 4 a.m. to noon on April 26 and April 30, they said.
Barriers block traffic in downtown Ho Chi Minh City on Friday night.
Traffic congestion at the corner of Nguyen Thi Minh Khai and Le Quy Don.
Congestion at the corner of Le Quy Don and Vo Van Tan.
Many commuters take over the sidewalks, trying to get out of the heavy traffic jam.