Trading cars for bicycles to reach SeoulA bicycle path connecting the city of Gwacheon in Gyeonggi province to Seoul’s Seocho district opened Sunday that gives Gwacheon residents a new commuting option.
The Yangjae Stream Bicycle Path cost 5.7 billion won ($5.5 million) and took 18 months to complete, according to Gwacheon city. The 5.7-kilometer (three-mile) path, landscaped with trees and flowers, allows for a peaceful, 20-minute commute to the edge of Seoul. It’s smooth, mostly level and surfaced with high-impact condensed rubber, making it suitable for inline skating.
“According to a survey, 60 to 70 percent of Gwacheon residents commute to Seoul, and among students and young business workers, quite a number of them are considering using a bicycle,” said Gwacheon Mayor Yeo In-guk. “Including a path that will open next month, there are 24 kilometers (15 miles) of bicycle paths in Gwacheon.”
Mr. Yeo said the city was emulating bicycle-friendly countries such as Japan and others.
“The city plans to promote bicycle riding, which is good for health, saves fossil fuels and reduces pollution,” he said.
A resident of Gwacheon’s Munwon-dong neighborhood who commutes to Seocho said, “After three or four years of commuting in traffic jams and air pollution, I can finally live a more healthy lifestyle. Many of my colleagues are also planning to use bicycles to commute.”
Jeong Ho-yeon, a 29-year-old public worker who commutes from Burim-dong in Gwacheon to Seocho, said, “I am so glad that now I can reach my office without being late and work out at the same time.”
by Jeong Chan-min