Design for Seoul Station Overpass

seoulstationoverpassThe Seoul Station Overpass is going to close for traffic and transform to a public space until 2017. The project was inspired by New York’s High Line and it is mayor Park Won-Soon’s signature project. Seoul just ended an international design competition and they selected a winner.

This post gives you a preview of how the Seoul Station 7017 is going to look like. Secondly, this post is going to show that there are still some hurdles to take.

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Extension of Gwanghwamun Square

sejongro

View from City Hall towards Gwanghwamun Square

Seoul puts a lot of effort to become a more human-centered and pedestrian-friendly city. It is a difficult and challenging process. In March, Seoul announced that they want to close the western side of the Sejong-ro in order to extend the Gwanghwamun Plaza. It means that 550 meters of street (six lanes) are going to be closed permanently for traffic. The south-bond direction on the Sejong-ro will be transformed to a public space. The project is expected to be completed until 2017 and it will cost around 62 billion KRW. Details for the design aren’t yet published. The budget isn’t secured yet as well. Seoul asked the national government to financially support the project but they got rejected. Read more of this post

Safer Roads for Children in Korea

Today, May 5th, is Children’s Day in Korea. Regarding children in traffic, they are probably the weakest traffic participants and most vulnerable to fatal traffic accidents.

Korea achieved improvements in the number of traffic fatalities of minors in the last decade. In numbers, there was a 95% reduction of traffic-related child fatalities. The problem was mainly tackled by infrastructure improvements. For example, school zones with lower driving speed and fences between sidewalk and street have been introduced. But sadly, the average of traffic fatalities of children under 14 is still at 1.3 per 100,000 citizen (in 2012). The OECD average is 1.1 per 100,000. So there is still improvement possible necessary.

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Seoul Announces Initiatives to Improve Pedestrian Environments

Image: MediaHub Seoul

Image: MediaHub Seoul (Seoul City)

Seoul City announced a number of new policies and initiatives to help improve pedestrian environments within the city on April 23. Listed below are some of the plans in store: Read more of this post

Transport Tip: Daily Line 4 Express Trains from Ansan to Dangogae

Express trains for Ansan now run in both directions.If you use Line 4 regularly then you’ll know about the express trains that run during peak times between Ansan (안산) and Danggogae(당고개).

Thanks to reader James for the image.

Thanks to reader James for the image. Click to view larger version.

The trains are for those living in the Ansan area and only run on weekdays with just five trains to Danggogae in the morning and three trains from Danggogae to Ansan in the evening. While it is an “express train”, you won’t actually be saving too much time. The train only skips stations on the Ansan section, stopping at the following stations: Ansan, Jangang, Sangnoksu and Sanbon. The train is then all-stop from Geumjeong to Danggogae and saves a total of 7 minutes if travelling from Ansan to Danggogae. Check out Gogoon’s blog for a great graphic detailing time saved.

The express service on the Ansan section is actually not new and began back in 2010 but only operated in Danggogae direction in the mornings. Nevertheless, there must have been demand for services as evening trains began operating in Ansan direction from September last year. I guess that even if passengers aren’t cutting down on their commute time by a huge amount, it still probably feels much faster to skip a number of stations (just look at the rush for the Line 9 rapids).

Express Rail Following Seoul’s Line 2 Planned Long Term

Line2

A familiar sight at Line 2 stations.

Don’t get excited yet – this is a long way off and will still be in the planning stage for a very long time even if it does go ahead. Though I tend not to write about plans that are far off and uncertain, Line 2 express trains are something that people have talked about and longed for probably since it opened.

As many of us know, Line 2 is the busiest subway line in Seoul and is used by more than 2 million people a day. During the busiest times trains can reach 200% capacity and there are many who avoid the line during peak times if they can due to its reputation. Read more of this post

Some Extra Info – Geoncheon Connection

This is a brief post for those who asked for more information on the Geoncheon connection mentioned in this previous post.

As you can see in the the diagram below, this short piece of track connects the Gyeongbu high-speed railway with the new high-speed Donghae Southern Line which currently ends at Pohang. The connection opened on April 2 and is approx 7.2 km long. Read more of this post

Increase of Seoul’s Public Transport Fares

bus-fares-koreaIt was speculated since a couple of months that there will be an increase of public transport fares in 2015. Today the transport department of Seoul submitted the new fare prices to the municipal assembly. We will see a rise of up to 30 %. In addition, Seoul will introduce a discount for early birds.

The last increase of traffic fares in Seoul was in February 2012. Actually, the long-term plan of Seoul was to increase the prices every (or at least, every second) year. However, transit users aren’t never happy about fare hikes and so they were delayed several times. After the big public transport reform in 2004 the fare was only raised twice: 2007 and 2012. The new fares will be implemented in June 2015. Read more of this post

Daegu’s Monorail and Third Line Opens 23 April

In 2012 we posted about the Daegu Monorail, the city’s third line which is set to open on 23 April. Originally it was scheduled to open in conjunction with the 7th World Water Forum which takes place in Daegu and Gyeongbuk from 12 to 17 April.  The date was then pushed back to 23 April due to concerns about security for forum delegates, although apparently they are welcome to take a test ride if they wish.

daegu Read more of this post

ICLEI World Congress 2015 in Seoul

The biggest event about sustainable urban development Korea has ever seen is going to happen from April 8 to 12 in Seoul. The ICLEI World Congress 2015 is a four-day conference with many different types of events and a large diversity of topics. During the congress the Seoul Declaration is going to be adapted and experts from around the world are going to discuss the future of our cities.

ICLEI-world-congress

ICLEI also organized the EcoMobility World Festival 2013 in Suwon and there will be two events regarding EcoMobility (on Thursday and Sunday). Here you can see the program with all events.

The registration is already closed and I don’t know if on-site registration is possible. I plan to post updates on my personal Twitter @ni_medi. I hope that the event initiates sustainable development in more cities, esp. Korean cities, and reaches out to political leaders as well as policy makers.

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