When a small incident leads to a two-hour tailback, it shows what the city’s transport department is up against.
Traffic congestion has become a real headache for Hanoi in recent years and a burden for the city of more than 10 million people.
The problem was more evident Tuesday morning when a minor car accident triggered a two-kilometer tailback to the southwest of the city.
In a sea of cars and motorbikes, drivers struggled to navigate through the congested streets.
The hellish traffic jam lasted about two hours on Phan Trong Tue in the southwest of Hanoi. Phan Trong Tue is part of the national highway system so there is a heavy volume of heavy-duty trucks on the road.
A minor crash between a mini-van and a car occurred at 7.30 a.m. when traffic was at its peak, said Tran Van Cuong, a senior traffic police official.
It took police some time to remove the vehicles involved from the middle of the road, and the situation quickly got out of control due to the heavy volume of traffic during the rush hour.
It is usual to see tailbacks on Phan Trong Tue that may last up to 30 minutes, said Chien, a security officer at a nearby office building, however, the jam this morning was worse because people could hardly move an inch.
“When I left home at 7.20 in the morning, the traffic was already backed up. I didn’t arrive at work until 9.30 a.m. This is the worst traffic jam that I’ve seen in two years,” said Yen, a resident.
It is estimated that by 2025, Hanoi will have 1.3 million cars and 7.3 million motorbikes on the road.
Hanoi’s transport authorities are aiming to reduce the number of individual vehicles and boost public transport instead.
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