Motorcycles

Hanoi plans to ban motorcycles altogether by 2030

Hanoi plans to ban motorcycles...
Hanoi's famous swarms of motorcycles could be a thing of the past, with Hanoi's city council voting overwhelmingly to ban them from inner city streets by 2030
Hanoi's famous swarms of motorcycles could be a thing of the past, with Hanoi's city council voting overwhelmingly to ban them from inner city streets by 2030
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Hanoi's famous swarms of motorcycles could be a thing of the past, with Hanoi's city council voting overwhelmingly to ban them from inner city streets by 2030
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Hanoi's famous swarms of motorcycles could be a thing of the past, with Hanoi's city council voting overwhelmingly to ban them from inner city streets by 2030

Citing pollution and road trauma statistics, the Hanoi People's Council has voted overwhelmingly in favor of banning motorcycles in the inner city by 2030. Instead, the city is aiming to develop public transport to better serve its 7.6 million residents.

Western visitors to Vietnam are hit by an onslaught of sensory input: the smells, the colors, the heat, the humidity. But nothing tells you you're not in Kansas anymore quite like the tidal onslaught of motorcycles from every direction.

Crossing the road is like walking over hot coals. If you don't have unwavering belief in yourself, you just can't do it. Even once you're a seasoned campaigner, it's like calmly walking into machine-gun fire and expecting it just not to hit you. Riding a motorcycle in the city yourself is eerily akin to being part of a swarm of bees. It's pure chaos, that somehow seems to work despite the fact that nobody's paying any attention to road signs, lanes, directions or traffic lights most of the time.

It's thoroughly invigorating for adrenaline junkies, terrifying for other visitors and the absolute daily norm for Vietnamese folk. But its days are numbered in Vietnam's capital Hanoi, according to several reports.

Together with coal-fired power plants and local heavy industry, Hanoi's 5 million motorcycles – the vast majority of which are 110-125cc scooters – contribute to some of the worst pollution in South-East Asia, with only a tenth of days last year meeting the World Health organization's criteria for "good" air quality. Furthermore, motorcycles are involved in some 70 percent of road accidents, a number which strikes us as astonishingly low given the sheer number of the things on the road.

So, the plan is to spend the next 12 years investing in vastly improving public transport around the city, and then slowly introduce no-go areas for motorcycles that will cover the entire inner city by 2030.

It's hard to imagine Hanoi without its sea of scooters, teetering along with everything from furniture, to livestock, to 7-strong families balancing on them. But (state-owned) Vietnam News is reporting that when 15,300 households across 30 districts of Hanoi were surveyed last month, a baffling 90.3 percent of respondents agreed with the plan.

Source: Vietnam News

8 comments
michael_dowling
Why not subsidize the purchase of electric motorbikes for those who cannot part with their gas motorbikes,and ban fossil fuel bikes from cities?
Alexander Lowe
I agree with michael_dowling's previous comment. Some Asian cities suffer from major problems caused by traffic, but this stems from polluting technology and from culture, both of which could be changed. I'm enthusiastic about public transport, especially if electric, but almost equally about the sensible use of bicycles, electrically-assisted bikes and motorcycles, as a flexible form of individual transportation.
Don Duncan
In an authoritarian culture like Vietnam, it is difficult to pose a solution to a specific problem, like air pollution. Whatever the solution, it will not come from the top, it never does. In fact, if a comprehensive analysis of the pollution problem were done, I would expect that state regs (laws) were the fundamental problem. That said, how does a society used to draconian controls cure itself of this deadly habit? When that fundamental disease is cured the people will be free to solve all the other problems at a grass-roots level. Would an appeal to the public to re-consider their tolerance of centralized control be effective? Or even possible, under state-controlled media? When authorities control actions they limit solutions, ideas, life.
Tom Lee Mullins
I think a total band on gas motorcycles would not make sense. Like the other posts, I think electric vehicles would or could work in addition to public transportation. I think they could also clean up the coal plants. They cleaned up the coal plants in the USA.
Eric Blenheim
Hanoi could produce water-powered motorcycles, already perfected by inventors in Japan and the US, and end the pollution problem that way (and even reduce global problems of rising sea level), and an Indian mechanic has even invented a motorcycle that runs on acetylene gas by combining water with calcium carbide, producing very minimal levels of pollution, for 1 or 2 pence a litre. No more oil would mean no more funds from oil for weapons for ISIS, and no more dementia, asthma, brain damage in the womb for unborn children or premature death from petrol or diesel fumes. Power plants could run on water, as could all motor-driven vehicles. Too easy, obviously.
Shohreh
Eric Blenheim >Hanoi could produce _water-powered motorcycles_, already perfected by inventors in Japan and the US ?
Joshua Tulberg
@Eric There must be something in your drinking water.
Pupp1
The countries controlled by the "People's Party" are generally the worst polluters. If you are one of the many who assume big, powerful corporations are the bad players, just check out haw bad things get when the government IS the big bad corporation, with absolute power.