Bukchon area to be made car-free
When the project is complete, the main thoroughfare between Insa-dong and Samcheong-dong will be car-free. The surrounding neighborhood of Bukchon, which includes Bukchon Hanok Village, will also be a car-free area.
“We will restore or repair old roads to enhance the neighborhood’s traditional atmosphere,” said Jung Yu-seung, manager of Seoul Downtown Reconstruction 1, which is directing the repair project.
The area draws young people and foreigners to attractions such as Artsonje Center and other major art galleries, traditional Korean restaurants and teahouses, and small shops selling traditional clothing and artwork.
Bukchon is a historic neighborhood that is home to a number of hanok, Korean traditional houses, that are part of a preservation initiative.
For the first phase of the project, the road from Cheonggye 2-ga to Samcheong Park in the Bukchon neighborhood will be made car-free. This will enable visitors to walk from the Cheonggye Stream to Samcheong Park and up to Mount Bukak, which is popular for its panoramic views of the city.
The city government is also undertaking a number of repair projects to improve existing roads.
By Sept. 13, the clay blocks used to pave Insa-dong Road will be replaced with harder, rock-based material, and the bumps in the road will be eliminated.
At the end of the year, the city plans to repair the road that passes along Changgyeong and Changdeok palaces.
In addition, a crosswalk will be installed at the mouth of Insa-dong Road. Pedestrians currently have to use the crosswalk near Anguk Station. But when the crosswalk is installed, pedestrians will be able to walk directly into Samcheong-dong.
The side streets that run from behind Pungmoon Girls’ High School to Jeongdok Library and from Jeongdok Library to Samchoeng-dong will also be designated as car-free roads.
Sun Kyu-kyung, the director of Jongno District Culture and Tourism Council, said in a press release on Thursday that the repair project will help protect the historic neighborhood while also providing better service to people who visit the area.
Insa-dong has tried several times to rid its main road of cars, but had only succeeded in doing so from Saturday to Sunday afternoons because of objections from local businesses.
By Jang Jeong-hun [email@example.com]