Seoul vows massive expansion of bike path networkThe Seoul Metropolitan Government vowed Monday to build more bicycle lanes in the Korean capital over the next decade, a move aimed at improving the environment by encouraging people to ditch their cars for bikes.
Seoul is aiming to increase the city’s bike lanes by about 41 percent, from the current 940 kilometers (584 miles) to 1,330 kilometers. The city will build more bike paths while connecting them to the existing ones, so that cyclists can more easily travel through the city without contending with heavy traffic on the roads.
Seoul hopes to raise the ratio of its bike lanes to vehicle roads from 1.9 percent to 7 percent, which would be higher than both Amsterdam (4.7 percent) and Copenhagen (5.7 percent), two world-renowned cycling cities.
Only about 2 percent of Seoul’s population of 10 million currently commutes by bike. The city said it hopes to raise that figure to 15 percent, about the same level as Sweden and Finland.
A more specific draft of the bike lane expansion project will be drawn up by August, the Seoul government said, after which it will be officially included in a broader bike road map for the Korean capital that’s revised every five years.
A Seoul government official said Monday that the city government plans to discuss safety measures with the police as the project gains traction.
In a first step, the Seoul government will try to link the northern and southern parts of the city with bike lanes, and also the western and eastern parts by June 2021. For each bridge across Seoul’s Han River that currently doesn't have a bike lane, the city said it will also build a 7.2-kilometer-long bike route to allow cyclists to more easily travel across the river from any part of the capital.
BY LEE SUNG-EUN [firstname.lastname@example.org]