Big news of this week, on top of putting many main roads in central Seoul on a ‘road diet’ (ie. cutting the number that cars can use), is this announcement:
City to pave miles of new bike paths
Move over, motorists. Cyclists are getting some of your space.
The Seoul Metropolitan Government announced yesterday it will lay down 88.4 kilometers (54.9 miles) of new bike-only paths in central Seoul by 2014.
Under the city’s plan, traffic lanes on some roads will either be narrowed or eliminated to create space for bicycles. Seoul said it will spend 51.7 billion won ($40.8 million) on the bike paths. The city estimates that the bike lanes could reduce annual carbon dioxide emissions by 236,000 tons.
“We wanted to make Seoul a city where people can commute on bicycles,” said Seoul Mayor Oh Se-hoon. “To respond to climate change and traffic congestion effectively, we desperately need to change the paradigm of transportation.”
Looking at the diagram, the new paths largely link business and tourist sites around the city.
Seoul said it is implementing this particular change to discourage drivers from taking their vehicles downtown.