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Submitted by Brent C Melville on
I would like to share some comments following my recent first visit to Vietnam. It would be sad to see Vietnamese cities follow the western model with cars becoming the primary form of transport. Australian cities, for instance, are barren and sterile when compared with Vietnamese cities. Western cities are built around fast moving cars, vans and trucks. People are secondary; hidden away in their cocoons. Vast amounts of road space are wasted because one person often drives a 5-seat car. Some efforts such as transit lanes are employed to reduce this, but in western cities, the automobile "rules". I believe HCMC and Hanoi are vibrant cities because of the small motorbikes. They are an efficient method of transport and I saw very few traffic jams of the kind that happen every rush hour in western cities. Think of it this way. In western city traffic there is often 4 to 6 engine cyclinders per driver. In Vietnam it is most often 1 engine cyclinder per driver, or even 2 to 4 people per engine cyclinder. One small scooter takes up 25% of one car space and uses much less fuel. If cars were to be adopted, look to India for their small urban vehicles. Or perhaps the compressed air vehicles developed in France. Or can the Koreans, Chinese and Japanese provide an inexpensive urban vehicle?