Numerous taxicabs from dozens of firms are now randomly parked on roads and sidewalks in Ho Chi Minh City, causing worries about traffic safety among residents.
Except a few taxi companies that can afford to rent places for their cabs to park, most of the other firms let their cabbies randomly park their vehicles on roadways and sidewalks, at filling stations, and at other public venues.
On Monday afternoon, nearly 10 cabs were seen by Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper reporters being parked in a line on the sidewalk of Nguyen Dong Chi Street, Tan Phu Ward in District 7.
Some of them were parked with their fronts jutting out from the roadside so that they could depart immediately after the operator called them to pick up certain passengers.
Meanwhile, the sidewalk of Dien Bien Phu Street in Ward 15, Binh Thanh District is home to many Vinasun taxicabs.
“Our firm has signed a contract with a filling station nearby to arrange a parking area. But whenever the station has no space left, we have to park here,” one of the drivers of these cabs told Tuoi Tre.
Another driver said that competent agencies will fine them for illegally occupying the sidewalk whenever they find such parking there.
He also revealed that an “official” will give them a tip-off about any forthcoming inspection so they can leave the sidewalk before law enforcement units come.
Similarly, in Phu Nhuan District, a section of Nguyen Thuong Hien Street in front of the Botanic tenement has become an improvised parking lot of many Vinasun taxicabs that are parked along the roadway, causing trouble for other vehicles.
‘Parking hubs’ around Tan Son Nhat airport
Many streets around Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Tan Binh District, such as Hong Ha, Bach Dang, and Phan Thuc Duyen in Ward 2, have long become the “parking hubs” of many taxi firms.
Both the roadways and roadsides of these streets and others have been home to taxicabs from different companies.
“Locals here feel very discontented with the chaos and danger brought about by many taxicabs who tend to arbitrarily park their vehicles on the street,” a resident on Hong Ha Street said.
“Moreover, many cabbies also use the sidewalk as their ‘restrooms’ and thus cause environmental pollution,” the local added.
In mid-2014, many residents reported the situation to local authorities but it has still yet to be rectified.
On Monday, Tuoi Tre reporters saw dozens of taxicabs and light trucks parked for hours on a section of Hong Ha Street, on the side of the Vietnam Aviation Club, waiting to pick up passengers at the airport.
A local resident, named Dong, living on Bach Dang Street, told Tuoi Tre that this illegal occupation of roadways and roadsides by taxicabs is a chronic problem dogging people living around the airport and it has posed threats to traffic safety in the vicinity.
He added that cabbies will drive their vehicles away when they see police coming but they will return in the absence of the police.
Pham Van Tuan, 31, a cabby in this area, said, “We want to have a legal area for parking but there has yet to be one over the past years. So where else can we park if we don’t park our cars on the streets and sidewalks while waiting for passengers?”
According to statistics, Ho Chi Minh City now has 26 taxi firms operating 10,595 cabs.
District authorities reject installation of no-parking signs
Tran Nhat Thai, deputy chairman of the People’s Committee of Ward 2, cited reports from local residents as saying that cabs from 13 taxi firms are often parked on the streets around the airport, triggering traffic disorder.
The committee once coordinated with local police to handle the illegal occupation of roadways and roadsides, Thai said, adding that the joint force then booked many violations.
However, the committee has no authority to issue decisions on penalties for infringing cabbies, so it has referred those violations to the Tan Binh District People’s Committee for sanctions, Thai said.
In September 2014, the Ward 2 People’s Committee proposed that the municipal Traffic Safety Committee and the Department of Transport put up signs banning drivers from parking or stopping their cars on nine routes around the airport, but the department said that such signs would affect the lives of residents and the operations of businesses there.
The department then requested that the Tan Binh District People’s Committee provide data related to accidents and traffic congestion on those routes to form the basis for erecting the signs, Thai said.
The Tan Binh District People’s Committee then told the department that the signs would not be installed on the routes after consulting district police officers.
Ta Long Hy, chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City Taxi Association, said that competent agencies recently met to discuss the building of parking lots for taxis, but they have yet to work out any specific plan for the construction.
Đăng ký: VietNam News