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Hanoi to extend pedestrian mall pilot

Released at: 00:00, 18/12/2016

Hanoi to extend pedestrian mall pilot

Photos: Duc Anh

Having proven popular, city authorities decide to continue with road closures around Hoan Kiem Lake.

by Le Diem

The Hanoi People’s Committee has approved the continuation of a pilot project to June 30 creating pedestrian malls around Hoan Kiem Lake from 7pm to midnight on weekends and important national holidays.

Implemented from September to December, the pilot project was initially opposed by some residents but has proven effective at attracting a great many visitors to the area, according to the People’s Committee.

It was implemented in autumn, however, when the weather was fine, and so needs to be further piloted during other seasons, from January 1 to June 30. More cultural programs and activities will be held along the vehicle-free streets, such as an ASEAN and European food festival, an outdoor live concert featuring famous international artists, live performances of local intangible cultural heritages, and a Japanese Cherry Festival from March 19-22, among others. Appropriate food and shopping services are also encouraged.  

There are seven automatic vending machines for buying water and six shops displaying and selling souvenirs and craft products. Free wi-fi is available in the area and traffic police are in place to guide nearby traffic.

The pilot pedestrian mall around Hoan Kiem Lake included Dinh Tien Hoang, Hang Khay, part of Le Thai To and Le Lai, Le Thach, part of Tran Nguyen Han, Dinh Le, Nguyen Xi, part of Trang Tien, Lo Su, Hang Dau, part of Luong Van Can, part of Hang Bai, and Bao Khanh streets.

The project was part of measures adopted by Hanoi to promote the city’s tourism, along with a decision to allow bars in the Old Quarter to remain open until 2am on weekends. After the four-month pilot there were about 3,000 to 5,000 people strolling along the pedestrian malls during the day and 15,000 to 20,000 each night.

For the upcoming Tet holiday the city’s authorities have agreed to organize fireworks at 30 different locations on Tet Eve, January 27, lasting about 15 minutes each.

Five high-range fireworks displays will light up the sky at Hoan Kiem Lake, Thong Nhat Park in Hai Ba Trung district, Lac Long Quan Park in Tay Ho district, Van Quan Lake in Ha Dong district, and the My Dinh National Stadium in Nam Tu Liem district.

Twenty-five low-range shows will be held in the remaining 25 locations.

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