The book street is on Nguyen Van Binh Street, which connects Hai Ba Trung and Cong Xa Paris Streets in the centre of Ho Chi Minh City.

One sidewalk parking lot was previously located at each end of Nguyen Van Binh, exclusively serving visitors to the thoroughfare, which houses multiple bookstores and book-themed cafés.

Hai, deputy chairman of the District 1 administration, led his sidewalk clearance team to the book street on Sunday and insisted that both parking lots cease operating from 6:00 pm that day.

This has effectively put an end to all activities on the book street as visitors could not find a place to park their bicycles or motorbikes.

In reality, people could use parking lots at the nearby Diamond Plaza or Youth Culture House, or one on Nguyen Van Chiem Street, and walk to the book street.

On Monday afternoon, Le Hoang, director of the Ho Chi Minh City Book Street Co. Ltd. held a meeting with Hai and appealed his decision to remove the parking lots.

Hoang said the parking lots at either end of Nguyen Van Binh were zoned in the master plan including the book street, approved by Hua Ngoc Thuan, deputy chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City administration.

“Parking areas are an essential part of the book street,” he said.

“The book street welcomes some 5,000 visitors on a daily basis, and double that amount at the weekends, so having the parking space close to the venue makes it more convenient for the public.”

In response, Hai said the parking lot on Cong Xa Paris should be shut down, and the one on Hai Ba Trung could reopen as a free parking space.

The District 1 deputy chairman explained that the parking lot on Cong Xa Paris was serving visitors to the headquarters of the District 1 administration, fronting Le Duan Street.

The parking area, managed by the District 1 Office, used to be on Nguyen Van Binh Street, but had been relocated when the thoroughfare was turned into the book street.

Following the relocation, it had been requested that the free parking lot serve visitors to both the District 1 administration and the book street.

However, Hai pointed out that the license of the Cong Xa Paris parking lot had expired in 2015 and that attendants had also violated regulations by collecting fees from visitors.

“Moreover, the sidewalk parking lot is an eyesore on the downtown area, so we’ve decided to shut it down,” Hai said.

Tuoi Tre News - August 16,2017