Seoul Metropolitan Government announced the Seoul Transportation Vision 2030, a long-term vision for the overall transportation sector, including public transportation, roads, pedestrian paths, and urban railroad network.
Under said vision, Seoul will transform into a city where people feel comfortable without their private cars. Pedestrian paths will be expanded to twice the current level. People will be able to use municipality-run bikes everywhere. The concept of complete streets will be adopted.
Complete streets mean streets that can be used safely by users of all types of transportation, such as bikers, public transportation users, and private vehicle drivers. The concept regards existing vehicle-centered roads as incomplete streets. The concept has been adopted in Europe and 46 states of the United States.
Whereas Seoul Metropolitan Government’s past transportation policy focused on vehicles, ownership, and growth, the new vision stresses people, sharing, and environment with a view to finding solutions to the current problems. The new vision intends to reflect social and cultural changes, including aging population, heightened interest in the quality of life, development of technologies, climate changes, energy depletion, etc.
To embody the goal of human-centered transportation, Seoul Metropolitan Government will focus on the formation of a neighborhood environment that prioritizes pedestrians and bikes; this will go a long way in drastically reducing the number of traffic accidents.
First of all, the pedestrian paths will be enlarged to twice the current level (10,130,000㎡). Sejong-ro will be transformed into a pedestrian space. These are part of the plan to form a “pedestrian-first” transportation environment. Seoul Metropolitan Government will adopt a Seoul version of Velib (a large-scale public bicycle sharing system in Paris). The bike road network, established mainly along Hangang (River) and streams flowing into the river, will expand to neighborhoods and lead to the public transportation network.
Seoul Metropolitan Government will set the speed limit of vehicles in all neighborhoods to 30km/h considering the fact that about 70% of all accidents involving pedestrians occur on neighborhood roads whose width is less than 13m.
Seoul Metropolitan Government will also adopt the following measures:
All intra-city buses replaced with low-platform buses for senior citizens and wheelchairs (at present, a total of 2,022 buses (27%) have traditional platforms).
Expansion of the urban railroad network with the aim of having subway stations located only ten minutes away from anywhere on foot.
A rapid, convenient public transportation service, including bus-only lanes in the middle of the road; provision of diverse types of services to meet specific needs.
Invigoration of the concept of complete streets where pedestrians, bikes, and vehicles are all safe; invigoration of a car pool system.
Lowering the rate of private cars’ share of transportation requirement from 18.4% to 10%; all public transportation replaced with those emitting no pollutants (current percentage: 0.2%); percentage of congested sections lowered from 19% to 10%.
Adoption of congestion charge system for all vehicles.
Using roads as spaces for energy production and purifying pollutants. Dissemination of environment-friendly vehicles.
People-led public transportation environment, with people invited to take part in the formulation of transportation policies.
Seoul Metropolitan Government will push through with the Seoul Transportation Vision 2030 for the following effects: reduction of vehicle use by 30%, reduction of public transportation-based commuting time by 30%, and expansion of use of green modes of transportation by 30%.
Seoul Metropolitan Government expects the share of green modes of transportation (i.e., walking, biking, use of public transportation) to increase from the current 70% to 80% and the per-capita greenhouse gas emission to decrease from the current 1.2 tons to 0.8 tons a year by 2030