The truth about removing the street nameplates of the Vietnamese commercial area in Houston

Dang-Giao/Vietnamese people

HOUSTON, Texas (NV) – Public opinion in the Vietnamese community in Houston, Texas, has been stirring since Friday, September 3, when staff from the International Management District (IMD) board began removing Vietnamese street signs along Bellaire Street in Houston. . Most think that the nameplates of Vietnamese streets have been removed forever.

Two English and Vietnamese nameplates on the same street as before in Houston, Texas, can be confusing. (Image: Quoc Dung/Vietnamese)

They talked loudly.

“This is a great insult to the Vietnamese community here,” protested Duong Huu Nghia, a Houston resident. “The Vietnamese community has contributed a lot to Houston.”

Many Houstonians expressed their displeasure.

Trinh Du, former general secretary of the National Council of Supervisors of the Vietnamese Community and former general secretary of the Political Struggle Committee, said: “Of course, as a Vietnamese, I do not agree with the nameplates. the road is broken.”

Oriental Medicine Nhat Nguyen, a person who participates in many community activities in Houston, shared: “In the past, my heart was happy and proud when I saw how many people put up Vietnamese street signs, now I feel feel sad and angry when people take down these street signs.”

Charlotte Nguyen said: “I don’t read or understand Vietnamese characters, but I’m of Vietnamese descent, so I don’t like it when people do that either.”

There are also people who don’t care.

Kim Nguyen, former president of the Vietnamese Community in Houston, said she is retired and does not want to talk about social activities anymore.

New English street name, blue background. (Image: provided by Trinh Du)

A street with two American and Vietnamese nameplates: “A bit too much”

However, even these disgruntled people agree that the display of Vietnamese street signs for the past seven years is something “insensitive” and “a bit excessive.”

“In the past, when you started campaigning to change the name of the Vietnamese street, you wanted to run for election, so you did a bit too much,” commented Mr. Nhat Nguyen. “I live in a foreign country to have a street sign the same size as the American name, it looks a bit excessive.”

He emphasized: “Also, there is still a parallel hanging on a road.”

Mr. Trinh Du also made the same comment.

“Honestly, sometimes I find it a bit of an eyesore,” he said. On a road where there are two names on two nameplates of the same color, of the same size, it is easy to confuse.”

“As Vietnamese, I like it, but I understand the disagreement and grievances of other ethnic groups or locals,” he added.

In fact, this is not a surprise.

From August 2020, the management of IMD in Houston has announced that it intends to remove the Vietnamese street name within 60 days and also “will have a plan to honor famous people named streets with historical stamps”. history in an effort to continue to support the tourism and business community.”

In an email reply to a reporter from Nguoi Viet daily on Wednesday, August 5, 2020, Ms. Tiffany D. Thomas, Houston Member of Parliament, Area F, which has many Vietnamese-born residents, and includes the IMD area, confirmed. The removal of Vietnamese street signs will be done, but with a different, better purpose.

According to the congresswoman, the street signs will be replaced by other signs, have historical markers, and aim to achieve a number of things.

Firstly, the road signs need to be revised to better indicate the direction. These nameplates can now be dangerous in traffic security because it is easy to confuse street names.

Second, these road signs will be historic and will be posted at the intersections of the current IMD area, including information regarding the named individual’s contribution to the community. This is how visitors and community residents can pay tribute and learn more about these individuals.

Ms. Thomas added: “Currently, the city has not officially sent out the notice. When completed, the new street signs will be presented to the public.”

“The important thing is that the city of Houston is not spending money on street signs, but IMDs. These signs are privately owned, but mounted on public property,” Ms. Thomas continued.

“Street signs will be placed at intersections throughout IMD, in public places, to support economic and tourism development in commercial areas of Vietnam. The new boards look great and I think everyone will be pleased,” wrote the female elected representative for Area F.

A corner of Saigon Avenue (Bellaire Street) and Ho Ngoc Can Street (Belle Park Street) in Houston, Texas. (Image: Quoc Dung/Vietnamese)

Expected mid-October to replace the new Vietnamese street nameplate

Going back to the immediate situation, the matter of removing the street sign from Friday, September 3, 2021, is a matter that has been calculated for a long time.

This time, the American street names were removed first to replace the new board, blue instead of green as before.

The English street signs were reattached immediately for ease and necessity for traffic.

However, Vietnamese street signs need time to put back together for many reasons.

Lawyer Steven Dieu, chairman of the Representative Council of Vietnamese Refugees in Houston, explained: “The street name in Vietnamese consists of a nameplate, a sign that says ‘Walk of Honor’ with the American and yellow flags and a sign. profile of the person with the name should take more time.”

He said: “For many months, we, a group of enthusiastic brothers, have worked with IMD and the two sides have come to an agreement on four things: (1) Not to take down the name of the street with Vietnamese characters, but only to change it. by other boards, smaller and mounted on either side, near light poles to avoid confusion of street names; (2) There is a larger board, which says ‘Walk of Honor’ and has a picture of the US flag and a yellow flag with three red stripes; (3) There are several lines of biographies of the person named; (4) IMD will pay for maintenance and repairs and the Vietnamese community will not have to pay now like before.”

“I find this to be the best compromise. Previously, a street had two nameplates on it, easily confusing police and firefighters or ‘confused.’ Now everything is more reasonable and safe,” added the lawyer.

As expected, the replacement of new Vietnamese street nameplates will end in mid-October.

Street signs with Vietnamese names in Bellaire, Houston are:

– Saigon Boulevard (Bellaire Street, the section from Beltway 8 to Hwy 6).

Freedom (Beechnut Street).

-The Unknown Soldier (Eldrige street, crossing Bellaire Blvd).

-Quoc Han April 30 (Beltway 8, crosses Bellaire Blvd, and is near the Vietnamese quarter in Bellaire).

In addition, there are a number of streets bearing the names of South Vietnamese Army officers who died in the war such as Nguyen Khoa Nam, Le Van Hung, Pham Van Phu, Le Nguyen Vy, Tran Van Hai, Ho Ngoc Can, Nguyen Van Long, and Nguyen Van Tha.

Some Houstonians also feel that it is better to use the names of famous nationals and heroes of the country such as Tran Hung Dao, Hai Ba Trung, Le Loi, and Nguyen Trai to name streets rather than just using all the names of war heroes. Soldier of the Army of the Republic of Vietnam. [qd]

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