Bicycles will help reduce pollution, but will make traffic jam more serious

VietNamNet Bridge – The Hanoi Industry and Trade Department is seeking the approval by the city’s authorities for its plan to encourage Hanoians to travel on bicycles to help ease the environment pollution. The plan has raised controversy.

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Vietnam, bicycle manufacturing, Hanoi, environment, river network

The author of the plan believes that if it is implemented in Hanoi, it would help reach two goals at the same time – easing the environment pollution and helping boosting the sale of motorbikes, an effective way to rescue the motorbike production.

Bicycles would return?

According to the Hanoi Industry and Trade Department believes that the rapid development of motor vehicles including motorbikes and cars is the main culprit that has caused the traffic jam and the urban environment pollution. Therefore, it believes that reducing the number of cars and motorbikes in circulation by encouraging people to use bicycles would help settle the problem to the every root.

A report of the General Directorate of Environment under the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment also said that private vehicles are the main factor that causes the air and noise pollution in big urban areas. The report showed that the transport is the reason behind the 60-70 percent of the air pollution in big cities. It is one of the most important factors that badly affect the air quality and cause serious respiratory and mental diseases to people.

A plan would be implemented to reach that end. It is expected to be carried out within 24 months with the total cost of VND900 million which would be sourced from the Hanoi’s trade promotion fund.

The plan has been applauded by the Hanoi Transport Association. The city’s 5-year socio-economic development plan clearly says that its industrial production would focus on making electric fans, refrigerators, bicycles and motorbikes. As encouraged by the city’s authorities, some 30 bicycle enterprises have been set up in the city. However, their products have been sold very slowly because of the low demand.

Chair of the Hanoi Transport Association Bui Danh Lien said that if the suggestion is approved, this would be a good solution to stimulate the demand and rescue the bicycle industry in Hanoi.

The unrealistic plan

Lien, while agreeing that traveling in bicycles would help ease the pollution and save the fuel, still thinks that the project is unfeasible in the current transport conditions.

In fact, the solution has been applied in many countries in the world. However, it can be succeeded in the places with good infrastructure conditions with large lanes reserved for pedestrians, motorbikes and bicycles.

He has pointed out that developing bicycles would come contrary to the Hanoi’s urban transport development strategy, which says that Hanoi would focus on developing public transport means, not bicycles. With the current conditions of roads, Hanoi will not be able to reserve lanes for bicycles only. Meanwhile, the traffic jams mostly occurs on the routes in the inner city.

Dr. Nguyen Quang Toan from the Transport University said a lot of office workers are willing to travel on bicycles as a way to play sports. However, it would be inconvenient for people to go from home to their offices if the distance is over 5 kilometers.

Compiled by Thu Uyen

Vietnam, bicycle manufacturing, Hanoi, environment, river network