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Has anyone seen the 'taking back the sidewalk' initiative in D1

Just caught a few clips from Youtube and I must say the whole thing seems like a publicity stunt from a guy who looks a lot like Kim Jong Un. They're going around parts of the city in D1 and hauling/towing away cars parking on the sidewalks and taking away lawn chairs and tables from street food vendors. Is D1 the only place that these things are happening? I'd like to see them coming over to Bui Vien and clean that place up. Good luck with that.

hoooo ray about the bikes and cars, bummer about the food

It has been done in other areas, but if you read what he said you will know he was scathing about departmental heads of other districts not doing their job.

Don't forget, these departmental heads prosper from  businesses on the footpaths.

he's missing out

A lot of people losing a source or a sole source of income. Lots of ink about this.
I am not sure of the benefits. IMHO this is just a zealous bureaucrat creating a problem to solve for his own career enhancement. I don't see any benefits whatsoever just pain for the self-employed who are trying to take responsibility for their own welfare. IMHO  it's just plain mean bullying of those who don't have a voice just so some pretentious nether regions sphincter can pretend he's a visionary or whatever and line his own pockets one day.

VietCanada :

A lot of people losing a source or a sole source of income. Lots of ink about this.
I am not sure of the benefits. IMHO this is just a zealous bureaucrat creating a problem to solve for his own career enhancement. I don't see any benefits whatsoever just pain for the self-employed who are trying to take responsibility for their own welfare. IMHO  it's just plain mean bullying of those who don't have a voice just so some pretentious nether regions sphincter can pretend he's a visionary or whatever and line his own pockets one day.

You referring to those illegal self employed people who are blocking the walkways or those who have set up illegal bike and car parking spaces on the footpath. Most locals seem to be very happy with what is happening, and I for one agree with getting the footpaths back to what they were designed for.....walking, not an obstacle course.

VietCanada :

I don't see any benefits whatsoever just pain for the self-employed who are trying to take responsibility for their own welfare.

Except for the people who are forced to walk on the roads where they have a far greater risk of being injured or killed by passing vehicles.
This serious problem exists in much of Asia and it's a lot more than just hassling the poor.

colinoscapee :
VietCanada :

A lot of people losing a source or a sole source of income. Lots of ink about this.
I am not sure of the benefits. IMHO this is just a zealous bureaucrat creating a problem to solve for his own career enhancement. I don't see any benefits whatsoever just pain for the self-employed who are trying to take responsibility for their own welfare. IMHO  it's just plain mean bullying of those who don't have a voice just so some pretentious nether regions sphincter can pretend he's a visionary or whatever and line his own pockets one day.

You referring to those illegal self employed people who are blocking the walkways or those who have set up illegal bike and car parking spaces on the footpath. Most locals seem to be very happy with what is happening, and I for one agree with getting the footpaths back to what they were designed for.....walking, not an obstacle course.

@ VietCanada : This is not bullying of those who don't have a voice, the guy is doing his job to clean walkway up. He is applying this to big balls too. Do you think those big restaurants and all of the local business are easy to be bullied? They are covered by someone else too. He has set a place up for all kind of food on the street already, so I think he is doing a good job.

@colinoscapee : Agree.!!

Yes its happening everywhere. Same Vung tau, signs, stalls,awnings. Cars parked on footpaths.

Stop cleaning up the sidewalks. Vietnam doesn't need to be gentrified; I like it the way it was.

I agree wholly!!

Cant agree. Lived on one of the worst streets in Saigon, where you had to walk on the street due to the footpaths being so small and totally blocked by businesses.

It's just gentrification. The locals, where I live, are the ones being affected by having their incomes taken away from them. A lot of misery in my neighbourhood.

AFAIK the side walk stuff is part of the tourist experience.

I too have been po'd often because I have to walk around them which sometimes means walking onto the street but I've accepted that as part of the VN experience. Most often it's not the vendors but the motorbikes parked on the side walks that give me the most grief. Don't get me started on people walking abroad the side walk in a casual way.

Punishing the poor for trying to survive does not make VN a better place, it doesn't solve the problem of providing walking space. It just diminishes everyone and exacerbates social problems created by poverty.

It's a simplistic, heavy handed response to  a problem perceived only by the well off who just don't want those poor people around when they go shopping.

The subtlety of compromise eludes those who want everything pristine just for them and their fantasy of the good life as prosperity creates a dichotomy in this city.

There are other solutions that have been implemented by many great cities. Setting aside a street or common area or even setting a day of the week that street vending is allowed are examples. Pushing it into alleyways. Painting lines on the side walks to delineate vending, parking and walking spaces. 

It's just gentrification VN style. A mirage not a solution.

VietCanada can fully agry!

Thanks VietCanada  for succinctly articulating the situation. To the Vietnamese leaders and bureaucrats I would like to say, "Stop Americanizing my Vietnam! Stop punishing the poor to push an artificial agenda."

Allowing people to use sidewalks for walking on is not gentrification. The sidewalks were built a long time ago with the intention of people walking from one point to another point. They're a physical necessity.

They don't increase costs for anyone or replace locals with foreigners. And if the government proposed cleaning the waterways, could it be argued that THAT'S "changing the character" too? How about fining people who drove on the sidewalks? That's definitely part of the HCM "character". So should that be protected as well?

Replacing a local Ca Phé with a Starbucks—THAT'S gentrification.

Poor people don't have a right to disregard the laws, nor take up public space for their financial benefit while showing total disregard for all the other citizens just because they're poor. Allowing them to do so as a show of your sympathy is not helping them.

Next you will want the "give way to the right" " dont pull out from the curb untill its clear" what mushroom are you living under. The poor people are not making a " financial gain" they are trying to live from day to day. When the government cleans up the dirt and corruption at the top then they can clean up the poor end of town.2

Next you will want the "give way to the right" " dont pull out from the curb untill its clear" what mushroom are you living under. The poor people are not making a " financial benifit" they are trying to live from day to day. Not everbody can have a shop to run a business from. When the government cleans up the dirt and corruption at the top then they can clean up the poor end of town.2

So you deem the New World hotel as poor people, interesting.

Sappergeorge :

Next you will want the "give way to the right" " dont pull out from the curb untill its clear" what mushroom are you living under.

These examples of disrespect for common courtesy are hardly exclusive to or even beneficial for poor people.  I think they belie your argument.  Most Vietnamese seem to recognize these things as not good but to go against them as individuals, they would be swimming upstream.

It really comes down to enforcement.  If the authorities devoted half the manpower to traffic and things like illegal uses of sidewalks that they do to controlling the population through things like the "red book" and various other documents that require red stamps, Vietnam would be a better place.   My wife likes to use the excuse that "The government is not strong enough." but of course that is absurd.

Sappergeorge :

Next you will want the "give way to the right" " dont pull out from the curb untill its clear (sic)" what mushroom are you living under. The poor people are not making a " financial benifit" they are trying to live from day to day.

What's wrong with "giving way to the right" and not "pulling out from the curb until its [sic] clear"?  Is observing safety rules exclusive to the rich?  Does ignoring safety rules and common sense help to improve one's financial benefit?

In "trying to live day to day", one needs to live first, and getting oneself harmed or harming someone else with one's careless actions is not the best way to preserve one's life.


VietCanada :

AFAIK the side walk stuff is part of the tourist experience.

In contrary to popular belief, street vendors (except the ones in backpackers area) do not rely on tourists for their living and they do not exist to enhance a tourist's experience.  Tourists come and go, but locals are the prop and mainstay of street vendors. 

There are hundreds of hẻm in Saigon where street vendors have been doing good business for almost a century (maybe even longer).  I used to live in those hẻm.  I used to purchase food twice a day (breakfast and evening snack) for decades from those vendors.  I knew many of them personally, went to school with some of their children (even had a crush on one of the boys), and visited their homes every now and then.  I saw how they lived -- a hard life, but not a life full of despair.

If they could make a good living in hẻm where no one, including themselves, would run the risk of being harmed by chaotic traffic, what's the reason for clogging up the pavement?  Don't pedestrians have the right to life their lives in reasonable safety too?

Ciambella :

the right to life their lives?

I think it's a typo, since no one has ever told me I'm dyslexic.  :unsure

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