New thinking about sidewalk use

About to come to a decision, the HCMC government is poised to adopt a new thinking on how the sidewalk and roadways can be used aside from being for traffic. 

The sidewalk and roadways can be utilized for other purposes, say officials. However, users have to be licensed and pay fees.

Users of the sidewalk will need a license and pay fees - PHOTO: THANH HOA

Poor management of the sidewalk and some roadways in HCMC has been a chronic problem unsolved for decades. Despite the tremendous efforts expended by the authorities, urban order on the sidewalk was temporarily restored only to become chaotic again. Urban management in this regard needs new thinking and new measures.

Urban order in disorder

Roughly four years ago, a massive campaign was waged to reestablish urban order on the sidewalk and roadways of this city. It was really effective in many areas when the relevant local authorities were determined to restore order using forceful measures, including the demolition of existing structures in violation of the rules, which had been rarely seen previously.

However, illegal occupation of the sidewalk and even some roadways is incredibly tenacious. As soon as authorities become weary, it will resurface.

In HCMC, after social distancing measures against Covid-19 were lifted in late April, the situation has become worse again. Many street sections, if not all, are occupied to be used as parking lots, eateries or makeshift markets.

Talking to Nguoi Lao Dong newspaper last week, Nguyen Ngoc Tuong, vice head of the HCMC Traffic Safety Board, said of the 157 streets which had been registered by local authorities as “model streets” in urban order, only a fifth could do so.

Licenses and fees

During a meeting convened by the HCMC Fatherland Front Committee to gather feedback about a decision draft on the management and temporary use of the sidewalk and roadways in the city, participants pinpointed existing problems and discussed measures for making the decision workable, reported Nguoi Lao Dong.

According to Ngo Hai Duong, head of the Section for Overland Infrastructure Management under the municipal Department of Transport, the draft includes key points regarding safety for pedestrians on the sidewalk. It also deals with technology applications to the management of and regulations on temporary use of some roadways and the sidewalk. New forms of management are also recommended, such as public participation in management, leasing and fee collection, among others.

However, Duong cautioned that if part of the sidewalk or roadways are used, the remaining part must be sufficient for walkers. All activities related to the sidewalk or roadways must be licensed, insisted Duong.

Another speaker, Dr. Trinh Van Chinh from the HCMC University of Transport, said it is essential to introduce clear regulations on the management of the sidewalk and roadways and assign concrete tasks to different authorities to avoid overlapping. Chinh suggested licenses should be awarded to traders and hawkers to regulate their areas and work time. Such stipulations will help hawkers feel assured and be more responsible, he said.

Licensing must be under strict control

Lawyer Nguyen Van Hau, vice chairman of the HCMC Association of Jurists, warned that the universal permission of the use of the sidewalk and roadways, albeit temporary, may lead to indiscriminate licensing regardless of users, locations or specific purposes. Hau argued that in accordance with the effective rules regarding this issue, not every authority is vested with the right to award a license. To keep the licensing on the right track, it is necessary to make it crystal-clear. Fee collection must be put under strict control and personal responsibility and accountability of the authorities concerned must be fully assumed.

Hau also mentioned a grim reality in the current management of the sidewalk where some local authorities are acting as “pimps” who illegally take money from people in return for their use of the sidewalk or roadways. These officials must be handled strictly, said Hau.

New thinking

Officials from the HCMC Department of Transport which helped draw up the decision draft present at the meeting listened carefully to participants’ opinions.

Tran Quang Lam, director of the HCMC Department of Transport, told Nguoi Lao Dong that during the compiling process, his department took into account every factor to make it suitable to practicality, particularly the feasibility and the minimization of adverse effects on local people.

Lam affirmed that opinion polls were conducted to collect thoughts from related people and households. Most of them gave their consent for the decision draft and said they are ready to comply with it. According to Lam, district governments will be authorized to award licenses.

In response to suggestions that the role of lower authorities—at the ward level—should be increased. Such opinion will be scrutinized and included in the draft, said Lam.

“The key point of the draft of the new decision on the management and temporary use of the sidewalk and roadways relates to the reaffirmation that the sidewalk is principally for pedestrian use no matter whether other functions are accepted for not,” said Lam. “For instance, functions which are not relevant to traffic. If they [the functions] are appropriate, our department will help the municipal government issue regulations on the streets available for them.” SGT

 
HCM City’s housing industry faces difficulties

HCM City’s housing industry faces difficulties

The property industry in Ho Chi Minh City, and in fact the country in general, faces several problems that need urgent solutions, especially with regard to legal provisions.

HCM City’s IPs, EPZs let down by lack of infrastructure

HCM City’s IPs, EPZs let down by lack of infrastructure

Many industrial parks and export processing zones in HCM City lack sufficient infrastructure since authorities’ failure to pay compensation for lands has meant they have been unable to acquire and clear them.  

 
 

Other News

.
HCM City achieves positive results in fighting trade fraud
HCM City achieves positive results in fighting trade fraud
SOCIETYicon  29/06/2020 

HCM City authorities have seized more than 36,350 smuggled and counterfeited goods and imposed fines of about VND7 billion (US$301,600) for violations after its coordination plan No15 was launched last year in May.

Noi Bai, Tan Son Nhat runway upgrades set for July
Noi Bai, Tan Son Nhat runway upgrades set for July
SOCIETYicon  29/06/2020 

The Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam has approved a plan to shut the runways and taxiways at HCMC’s Tan Son Nhat airport and Hanoi’s Noi Bai airport for repair and upgrade starting from July 1, 

HCMC publicizes new textbooks for academic year 2020-2021
HCMC publicizes new textbooks for academic year 2020-2021
SOCIETYicon  29/06/2020 

The HCMC Department of Education and Training has announced that textbook set “Inventive horizon" compiled by the Vietnam Education Publishing House was chosen to be official textbooks for first graders in the academic year 2020-2021.

Coronavirus: Where are global cases rising and falling?
Coronavirus: Where are global cases rising and falling?
SOCIETYicon  29/06/2020 

With the coronavirus pandemic reaching a global total of 10m cases, the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) has warned of a dangerous new phase in the crisis.

Dyke violations on the rise
Dyke violations on the rise
SOCIETYicon  29/06/2020 

More than 7,000 dyke violations which happened across the nation since 2011 have not been resolved, a conference heard.

Singapore hands out coronavirus tracing devices
Singapore hands out coronavirus tracing devices
SOCIETYicon  29/06/2020 

The government's TraceTogether tokens are aimed at people who do not have smartphones.

Hebei: China locks down 400,000 people after virus spike near Beijing
Hebei: China locks down 400,000 people after virus spike near Beijing
SOCIETYicon  29/06/2020 

It's a small spike in Hebei near Beijing - but enough for officials to reinstate a strict lockdown.

New Can Gio Bridge, coastal tourism sites approved
New Can Gio Bridge, coastal tourism sites approved
SOCIETYicon  29/06/2020 

The Prime Minister has approved the construction of Can Gio Bridge as well as plans to develop the Can Gio Tourism Urban Area project.

Elevated roads in HCM City could ease gridlock
Elevated roads in HCM City could ease gridlock
SOCIETYicon  29/06/2020 

HCM City should build an integrated elevated road system to tackle traffic congestion as land for transport in the inner city has become scarce, experts have urged.

Latest Coronavirus News in Vietnam & Southeast Asia June 29
Latest Coronavirus News in Vietnam & Southeast Asia June 29
SOCIETYicon  29/06/2020 

Vietnam records no new community COVID-19 cases for 74 straight days

Coronavirus: 'Swift and dangerous turn' in Texas cases, says governor
Coronavirus: 'Swift and dangerous turn' in Texas cases, says governor
SOCIETYicon  29/06/2020 

The spread of coronavirus infections has taken a "swift and very dangerous turn" in the US state of Texas, Governor Greg Abbott has warned.

Gunmen attack Pakistani stock exchange in Karachi
Gunmen attack Pakistani stock exchange in Karachi
SOCIETYicon  29/06/2020 

Gunmen attack the stock exchange in Karachi, with local media reporting a number of people killed or wounded.

COVID-19: The truth is always the strongest argument
COVID-19: The truth is always the strongest argument
SOCIETYicon  29/06/2020 

International experts and media have been trying to explain Vietnam’s extraordinary success in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.

Teacher works to stamp out child drownings
Teacher works to stamp out child drownings
SOCIETYicon  29/06/2020 

After seeing parents grieving their drowned children, a physical education teacher of the northern province of Thanh Hoa decided to build a swimming pool and teach students how to swim for free.

Vietnam confirms 12 Pakistani pilots ‘are working’ for local airlines
Vietnam confirms 12 Pakistani pilots ‘are working’ for local airlines
SOCIETYicon  29/06/2020 

The Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV) confirmed on June 28 that it has licensed a total of 27 Pakistani pilots to work in Vietnam, but only 12 of them are currently flying for local airlines.

COVID-19: British pilot to return to UK on July 12
COVID-19: British pilot to return to UK on July 12
SOCIETYicon  29/06/2020 

The British Embassy in Hanoi has sent a note to the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Health, requesting for repatriation of the British pilot infected with the coronavirus, the most severe case in Vietnam.

Vietnam suspends 27 Pakistani pilots for license verification
Vietnam suspends 27 Pakistani pilots for license verification
SOCIETYicon  28/06/2020 

The Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV) has suspended 27 Pakistani pilots flying for Vietnamese carriers to check their licenses’ authenticity, 

Inspectors suggest cancelling Covid-19 testing system purchase contract
Inspectors suggest cancelling Covid-19 testing system purchase contract
SOCIETYicon  28/06/2020 

Inspectors of Quang Nam Province have suggested that the provincial government cancel a bidding package to purchase a real-time PCR detection system used for Covid-19 testing

Teacher spends more than 20 years guiding children with disabilities
Teacher spends more than 20 years guiding children with disabilities
SOCIETYicon  28/06/2020 

Pham Thi Hong of Pleiku City, the Central Highlands province of Gia Lai, has run a teaching centre for disabled children in a rented house at No 57, Tran Nhat Duat Street for more than 20 years.

Preventive treatment for people at high risk of HIV infection the most effective solution
Preventive treatment for people at high risk of HIV infection the most effective solution
SOCIETYicon  28/06/2020 

Hoang Dinh Canh, deputy head of Vietnam Administration of HIV/AIDS Control (VAAC) speaks to the press on the ministry’s plan to expand pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) service to all provinces and cities nationwide.

 
 
 
Leave your comment on an article

OR QUICK LOGIN