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Daehangno expected to be ‘carless on Sundays’ in 30 years

Daehangno expected to be ‘carless on Sundays’ in 30 years

Posted April. 04, 2019 08:01,   

Updated April. 04, 2019 08:01


Daehangno will once again become a “carless road” on Sundays in 30 years. A carless road will be designated in Gangnam as well. The Seoul metropolitan government announced on Wednesday it plans to implement “carless roads.”

The Seoul government is planning to introduce a temporary “carless road” in June and determine later whether to regularly hold the event after considering citizens’ satisfaction and impact on traffic congestion. From May 1985, Daehangno had banned cars on its roads from 12:00 pm to 10:00 p.m. to hold cultural events, but the city removed this restriction in September 1989 for the Miari road expansion project. If the ‘carless road’ event becomes regular, it will be the first time in 29 years, nine months for Daehangno to return as a “carless road.”

The Seoul metropolitan government will invite young artists and restore the streets into a pedestrian friendly location with a lively vibe. It will work with the residents of Jongno to promote local characteristics and ensure that the location will not become a place where young people go for binge drinking, as it once was known years ago.

In October, streets of Gangnam will become “carless” roads as well, which will be a first event of its kind to be held in Gangnam. Expressways such as Gangnamdaero, Yeongdongdaero, and Teheranro will be chosen.

The 550-meter section between the three-way intersection and the four-way intersection of Sejongno, Gwanghwamun will be free of cars starting from April 7 through October on 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. nearly every Sunday. The streets of Jongno will be excluded, as the pilot events held last year were not successful, criticized by merchants and causing extra traffic congestion.

Various events will be held across the city. On Sejongdaero, the Chunhyang festival parade will kick off on Sunday, followed by a royal culture festival. Wading areas will be open in July and August, as well as urban camping sites and water gun shooting parties. “We will create various spots for citizens to rest and enjoy, bring out unique, local characteristics,” said an official of the Seoul metropolitan government.

Woo-Shin Han hanwshin@donga.com