Hanoi’s new plan for flower street draws criticism

VIETNAM-On Monday Hanoi’s People’s Committee approved a new plan to move all flowers and decorations for the New Year’s celebration festival to the sidewalks along Dinh Tien Hoang Street and around Hoan Kiem Lake, instead of on the roadway, as originally planned.

Titled “Rendezvous of Streets and Flowers,” the festival was expected to be organized on the area’s roads, with contributions from artisans from around the nation.

Also according to the new plan, vehicles will be allowed to use Dinh Tien Hoang Street during peak hours in order to avoid traffic jams. Previously, motorists were going to be banned from the road.

The street will only be converted into a pedestrian path on December 30th, the festival’s open date.

However, the new plan has met resistance from insiders.

Nguyen Manh Hung, an artisan, said it will be harder for spectators to view the flowers due to the narrow sidewalks.

“Since the sidewalks are narrow, we will have to recalculate the height of trees and the scale of decoration designs,” Hung said.

The festival’s organizing board also complained that it will be difficult for them to work if vehicles are allowed to travel during peak hours.

Responding to such complaints, the Hanoi committee said the new plan will offer more space for spectators to walk on the roadways during the festival, while not interfering with daily traffic on Dinh Tien Hoang Street.

“We decided to move the decoration to the sidewalks based on the majority’s opinion. If this year’s festival encounters problems, we’ll fix them next year,” Nguyen Khac Loi, deputy director of the Hanoi ‘s Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism said.

The festival, which will run until January 2nd, aims to entertain people, embellish the capital, promote tourism, and honor the country’s heritage sites.

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