Transport Ministry Considers Bus Lanes, Walking Streets For A Greener Vientiane

A significant number of Vientiane residents have expressed their support for an urban sustainable transport system the Ministry of Public Works and Transport is working on.

The project aims to establish special Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) lanes along 84 kilometres of Vientiane’s public roads, beginning with the Wattay International Airport to Patuxay route.

The Inpeng temple to Nam Phou fountain section of Setthathirath Road will be reallocated for public buses and non-motorised transport only, while François Nginn and Pangkham roads will be designated walking streets.

The project’s technical staff are conducting surveys to obtain public feedback on the project after introducing the master plan recently.

Haisok and Xieng Gneun are two of the villages that will be impacted by the project, as Setthathirath Road passes through both.

Transport Ministry Considers Bus Lanes, Walking Streets For A Greener Vientiane

Speaking to Vientiane Times yesterday, Deputy Head of Haisok village Ms Davone Rattana said most residents in her village supported the development plan, though some of them had raised concerns about not being able to park on the road anymore.

“Residents understand that they have been using public space [on parts of the road near their houses] for parking their vehicles but they don’t want to lose that opportunity,” she said.

Residents also questioned whether the parking lots authorities will arrange for them as substitutes will be close and safe enough.

In regards to the people who have businesses along the road such as tourism agents and clinics, Ms Davone said business owners along the road were concerned that making the road a walking street would cause a decline in customers.

A Xieng Gneun village authority who attended a recent discussion between village officials, residents and project representatives said residents had not raised many questions as there were no private houses along Setthathirath Road.

She said the hotels, restaurants and entertainment venues along the road would be well suited to doing business on a walking street.

Through support from the Asian Development Bank the ministry joined with Vientiane authorities to initiate the project in 2010, aiming to make central Vientiane more beautiful, charming, clean and green with convenient transport facilities.

In an introduction letter on the project delivered to residents, the developers offered the answers to possible questions like whether the project would affect their properties and whether parking would be free or not. It also responded to business and parking concerns.

The project is still being designed and construction will not begin until 2017.

Speaking to Vientiane Times on Tuesday, Head of the Project Coordination Unit Dr Bounta Onnavong said the ministry was developing the plan and if it were approved by the government in September the project would move on to forming a detailed design.

Source: Vientiane Times

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