Thursday, February 16, 2012

People abandon overpasses

People cross the road under an overpass.

The city currently has six overpasses, which are built to serve pedestrians and to congestion and traffic accidents. However, most of them are not favored by pedestrians, occupied by vendors or covered by rubbish.

Some overpasses, for example the ones in front of the Tu Du and Tumor Hospitals, are said to be built at wrong sites, which are not convenient for pedestrians. As a result, they are left fallow.

Some overpasses are used by drug addicts at night. “Since I saw needles left by drug addicts on this overpass, I’ve never walked that way again,” said Mrs. Sau, who lives near the overpass on Nguyen Trai road.

Lam Thieu Quan, a deputy of HCM City People’s Council, said that overpasses are not used because of people’s habit of crossing the road for convenience.

Quan suggested to impose fine on pedestrians who cross the road, where have overpasses, because this act is dangerous. “Pedestrians who break traffic rule are rarely punished so they keep breaking the law,” he said.

Vendors on an overpass.

An official from HCM City Department of Transport said that overpasses in HCM City serves people around hospitals and crowded areas. However, people prefer crossing the road rather than climb over overpasses.

“We have to build fences along the road under the overpass at the Tumor Hospital to force pedestrians to use the overpass. However, some people still ignore dangers to cross the road,” he said.

He said that the most important task is raising people’s awareness.

In a bid to curb traffic jams and traffic accidents in HCM City in 2012, the local Department of Transport plans to build some more overpasses and tunnels.