| Motorbikes are still being parked on pavements in Hang Ngang and Hang Dao, but the practice has just been banned by Hanoi People's Committee. — VNA/VNS Photo Minh Quyet |
The municipal People's Committee's ban stipulates that pavements and roads can no longer blocks footpaths or roads and that their licences will be revoked.
The ban was brought in to try and ease traffic chaos and create more rooms for pedestrians, who are forced to climb over vehicles or walk on the roads to avoid parked vehicles.
Yesterday, the first day of the new ban, parking lots in Dinh Tien Hoang, Nguyen Xi, Phu Doan, Gia Ngu, Tho Nhuom and Bao Khanh streets were full of parked vehicles. Parking staff were seen receiving vehicles and handing out parking tickets as usual.
One worker named Huong at a parking lot run by Hanh Ly Trading and Service Co Ltd in Nguyen Xi Street told the Viet Nam News she knew about the ban, but the local authority had issued no notices.
Le Ngoc Anh, a resident in the Old Quarter's Hang Chieu Street, said the ban should be carried out immediately as parking lots in the Old Quarters usually occupied all the pavements and encroached on the roads.
"This is the main reason for traffic chaos here," she said.
However, the ban has inconvenienced some in finding parking places. Tran Trung Kien, who works for a company in Yet Kieu Street, drove around the streets to find a parking place after his old one closed down.
Nguyen Thi Thanh Lam, deputy director of the Hanoi Parking Services Company, agreed with the ban, saying that 49 parking lots in Hoan Kiem and Ba Dinh districts with a capacity for 1,600 vehicles would be forced to close.
However, she said the city should build new parking places to replace the banned ones and strictly punish violators.
Lam also said that parking lots in several streets with good traffic infrastructure in Van Cao, Tran Khanh Du, Nguyen Khanh Toan and Van Mieu should be kept to meet local demand.
The company controls 191 parking lots throughout the city.
The chief inspector of the municipal Department of Transport, Nguyen Hoang Giap, said police and transport authorities had listed 230 streets which met conditions for setting up parking places.
The list has been sent to the city for approval, he said.
Hanoi is home to about 3.8 millions of motorbikes and almost 400,000 huge, slow moving cars that often carried a single passenger. Among them, about 184,000 cars and 2.3 millions motorbikes are operating in inner city.