The country’s capital, Hanoi, will have five million two-wheelers taken off the streets by 2030

Traffic in Vietnam is becoming a tourist highlight of sorts with people photographing it to share their experiences back home. The country’s rising economy has let down the limited infrastructure and the road systems have gone out for a toss.

To settle the city’s “hidden epidemic”, the country’s capital, Hanoi, is taking a major step towards restricting these legions of motorcycles creating environmental and congestion woes before they could go out of gear. The city council has come to a stern decision to completely ban the usage of two-wheelers on the city streets by the year 2030.

Vietnam is fighting another war. Motorcycles
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Vietnam is a land of 95.5 million people. And to transport them, there are roughly 45 million two-wheelers plying on the road at any given time of the day. Folks in the once war-torn country, are now buying vehicles like there is no tomorrow.

Figures from the Vietnam Association of Motorcycle Manufacturers show us that there are around 9000 new bikes registered every day in the country. The highest in South East Asia.

The city is choking on those many vehicles, and the existing infrastructure has clearly failed. The traffic is causing gridlocks all across the towns and major cities like Hanoi even during non-peak hours. The severity of the problem is still underestimated by the 16000 deaths that occur each year due to the high traffic density and flouting of traffic violations.

Vietnam is fighting another war. Motorcycles
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Approved by 95 out of 96 councilors, all the five million two-wheelers will be taken off the roads, gradually limit motorcycles in certain areas and registering new ones will be restricted in a phase-wise manner.

The city aims at introducing better public transport options and make them affordable enough to wean people off their scooters. Construction of sky trains is also on the cards along with creating six new metro lines, three Bus Rapid Transit lines and 18 new bridges within the next decade.

Vietnam is fighting another war. Motorcycles
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With the air quality on the Real-Time Air Quality Index marked as "unhealthy", this step to ban two-wheelers seems somewhat biased since there are no reports of banning cars from the city’s roads even though there is an influx of 30% more cars registered when compared to last year.

Hanoi is not the first city to take up banning of vehicles due to increasing environmental and congestion woes. Paris, the capital of France, has also banned pre-1999 motorcycles from running on the streets since July of 2016. Delhi, the capital of India, had taken up an odd-even rule to allow vehicles carrying an odd/even registration to ply on alternate days.

Vietnam is fighting another war. Motorcycles
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