[EDITORIALS]Doing things halfwayMajor projects promoted ambitiously by the Seoul city government have already started to falter. Extending the operation of subways for one hour, which began last night, was made possible only within the city's boundaries. Thus, it's a job half done. The budget allocated by the city for creating a park at City Hall plaza has been slashed by the city council. These are the results of the capital's one-sided promotion of projects that can positively effect citizens' lives, and they're done without consulting the right people.
Extending the operation of subways for an hour is vital for easing inconveniences of ordinary people, especially the ever-increasing number of people working at night. Although the proposal is supported by 86 percent of Seoulites, the negotiations with the subway union have been difficult, since there have been big differences over additional employment, extra payment and operational safety. City officials insisted: "We cannot be pushed around by the union's absurd demands," while the union shot back: "We cannot guarantee safe operations."
The forced extension, which is limited to the city limits of Seoul, halves the effect. City officials unilaterally pushed the implementation, saying they had pursued negotiations for two months. It was wrong for the city office to decide partial operation so one-sidedly, but the union's attitude of trying to gain all that they could at one time is also a problem. Considering the suffering of citizens who make their way home hurriedly in the middle of a cold winter night, both the city and the union should show the wisdom of agreeing to a full extension.
Creating a 14,400 square-meter park in front of City Hall and changing the traffic flow there will directly influence the overall traffic plan of the Seoul area. However, the city has never consulted with the city council or with the police about the matter. Promoting urban projects with a strong will is a good idea, but it is necessary to observe proper procedures and to coordinate all the interests of those concerned.