Authorities keen to ease traffic congestion caused primarily by large buses picking up or dropping off hotel guests around Pham Ngu Lao area.
Ho Chi Minh City authorities are determined to enforce a ban on vehicles parked illegally on the streets around the city’s backpacker area, disregarding opposition from hotels in the neighborhood.
Authorities announced the ban earlier this year, saying a large number of buses and cars occupy the area’s already crowded streets and cause traffic congestion.
Eight hotels in District 1 have protested the ban and complained that it creates problems for their business. Most of their guests arrive on group tours, they said, usually of 40-50 people, with a lot of luggage, so they need to travel to the hotels on large buses.
Now that buses are banned from parking on the streets it will be difficult for the tourists, who will be forced to walk a long distance to their hotel.
They proposed that authorities allow large buses to park in front of the hotels for 15 minutes for pick-up and drop-off. Only mini-vans with less than 16 seats are currently allowed to park, for just three minutes.
After receiving these complaints, officials from the city’s Department of Transport and the District 1 People’s Committee inspected the backpackers’ area on March 8.
Mr. Le Hoang Minh, Deputy Director of the Department, said that out-of-control parking violations on the streets must be stopped and that city authorities are determined to strictly enforce the ban. “It is necessary to put traffic back in order around the area,” he said.
The Department has arranged a parking lot for buses, in nearby September 23 Park, and guests will have no trouble walking to their hotel from there.
Mr. Le Tan Dat, Chairman of Pham Ngu Lao Ward, said that most of local people supported the parking ban as it makes the streets less cluttered with vehicles.
Mr. Huynh Cong Hung, a member of the city’s People’s Council, said the ban is needed as it will reduce traffic congestion.