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Plan to Permanently Pedestrianize 9 Streets Around Hoan Kiem Lake Grows Clearer

A number of Hanoi’s hugely popular walking streets may soon become permanently pedestrianized.

The capital’s transport officials recently revealed they are working on a plan to ban traffic on nine extra streets around Hoan Kiem Lake for a temporary, month-long period, in an effort to analyze whether a permanent ban makes sense, Dan Tri reports.

Dinh Tien Hoang, Le Thai To, Hang Khay, Trang Tien, Dinh Le, Le Thach, Le Lai, Hang Dau, Lo Su Streets and the Dong Kinh Nghia Thuc square area would all be pedestrianized under the proposal.

The plans will be offered for public discussion first. Ngo Manh Tuan, Vice Director of the City Department of Transport, is currently pondering whether stopping traffic for certain hours of the day or a complete ban is a better option. Bus routes will need to be rerouted.

At current designated pedestrian zones, motorized vehicles are banned from 7pm on Friday to 12am on Monday. Hanoi’s government plans to expand more walking routes which connect the Old Quarter’s southern areas to the northern area of Hoan Kiem Lake to prevent overcrowding.

The move comes amid ongoing efforts to adjust traffic in Vietnam. Authorities have suggested introducing both traffic congestion charges and tolls to limit vehicles in central Hanoi.

Hanoi’s walking street are a huge tourist draw and are also highly popular with Vietnamese. And In a claustrophobic city where cramped houses huddle shoulder-to-shoulder and roads resemble battlegrounds, walking streets provide a rare breathing space for people used to clamor.

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