Hanoi lawmakers have voted to place a blanket ban on motorbikes by 2030 to reduce traffic congestion, despite opposition from the public.
July 4 (UPI) — Hanoi lawmakers have voted to place a blanket ban on motorbikes by 2030 to reduce traffic congestion, despite opposition from the public, as well as transport experts.
Under the law, motorbikes will be banned in downtown districts and limited in areas where there is adequate public transport, according to VN Express.
But some are skeptical about whether the plan will work.
Despite this, resident Ngo Ngoc Trai told the BBC he did not think the plan would work.
“The city is too crowded while public transport hardly exists,” Hanoi resident resident Ngo Ngoc Trai told the BBC. “For example, there is no underground system in Vietnam. Only in June did Hanoi pilot the first two-storey bus in some routes.”
He added: “Looking back at the history, I don’t trust any long-term plan here. The government used to say Vietnam would become an industrialized country by 2020. Now everyone realizes this plan has failed.”
Hanoi lawmakers have been looking for a solution to reduce congestion and pollution for quite some time, with motorbikes – not cars – being looked at as the main target for restriction.
“The traffic situation in Hanoi will become extremely complicated in the next four to five years,” Hanoi City Chairman Nguyen Duc Chung said at a public development meeting in 2016. “So we really need a timely solution to this.”
But some argue that motorbikes are part of the solution to the traffic crisis.
Arve Hansen, a postdoctoral fellow at the Centre for Development and the Environment in the University of Oslo, Norway, said Hanoi lawmakers should “embrace” motorbikes instead of fighting them.
“Widespread motorbike ownership is after all the main reason why mobility levels in Hanoi are still relatively good,” Hansen wrote. “Motorbikes are remarkably efficient and play a crucial role in making this city work. And even if the worst motorbikes may pollute more than the best cars, they do not clog up the streets in the same way.”
Hansen suggested more restrictions on cars, including more car-free streets, can be help alleviate the problem.