The HCM City’s Department of Transport has proposed opening eight pedestrian streets in the downtown area.
The decision is part of a programme to reduce traffic congestion and accidents to 2020.
The downtown area would be divided into five separate zones, with eight streets, or at least part of the streets, transformed into pedestrian areas.
The streets are Đồng Khởi, Huỳnh Thúc Kháng, Tôn Đức Thắng, Lê Lợi, Nguyễn Huệ, Phạm Ngọc Thạch, Võ Văn Tần and Trần Cao Vân.
The Department of Transport has also asked the Urban Traffic Management Unit No 1 to set up a 220ha pedestrian area in the downtown area.
The area would include existing cultural, historical and service buildings, including the city People’s Committee building, Reunification Palace, Bến Thành Market, Opera House, Tao Đàn Park and Sài Gòn Zoo, among others.
To assist commuters and tourists affected by the project, parking spaces will be set up along the proposed area. In addition, public transport such as electric buses and monorails will be provided.
To plan for the pedestrian areas, the department will study the existing road infrastructure and other cultural and art works that will be put into use in the area by 2020.
Based on research of pedestrian streets in other countries, the department will also identify which cultural and entertainment activities should be held in the downtown area.
The departments will organise a seminar to collect public opinion following consultations with specialists and other agencies.
A similar project was previously planned by the city administration in 2012, which proposed a pedestrian area of 930 hectares in the downtown area.
But the project was never implemented due to a lack of investment.