HCM City has nearly 6 million vehicles
The city began applying a lot of measures to curb personal vehicles but none of them was successful.
The most important measure that the city will carry out this year to reduce congestion is collecting fees from cars that get into the city’s hub during rush hours. This plan has been submitted to the local administration for approval.
According to the HCM City People’s Committee’s report, only two traffic jams of over 30 minutes were recorded so far this year, a reduction of 91 percent year on year. Another report by the local Traffic Safety Committee said that there were six cases, a fall of 80 percent over the same period of 2011.
The first report also said that the first traffic jam occurred in the first two months of the year and the second happened early April. The city did not see any congestion during the months of March and May.
The report was the source of disbelief among the public who had been exposed to continuous media coverage of the city’s serious traffic problems, particularly in late April and early May.
According to Tuoi Tre Newspaper, on May 3, HCM City’s eastern gateway saw a serious traffic jam due to large influx of people coming into the city after Reunification Day (30-4). The traffic jam lasted from 6:45 am to 8:30 am.
Nguoi Lao Dong Newspaper also reported that, on May 10, another traffic jam occurred on a section of National Highway 1A, running through Linh Xuan Ward, Thu Duc District after an accident involving five automobiles. Traffic was backed up for several kilometres.
In addition VnExpress ran a story in mid-March reporting on a couple from Dong Nai Province attempted to take their child to HCM City Children’s Hosptial 2 for emergency aid. However the traffic at Thu Duc T-junction prevented the ambulance from moving, and the child died on the way to the hospital.
The HCM City Department of Transport explained that the only situations which they categorize as a traffic jam is one in which vehicles are unable to move for 30 minutes.
This year, the city’s target is to reduce these incidents by 10 percent. But, at a meeting with the local People’s Committee in March, Deputy PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc asked the city to raise the rate to 30 percent.