Citizens can enjoy strolling from Gwanghwamun through Namdaemun to Mt. Namsan to reach Seoul station. The Seoul Metropolitan Government announced on Sunday that the People Forest Road Project will be completed within this year to connect a 1.5-kilometer-long pedestrian street starting from Sejong-daero Junction through Namdaemun Intersection to Seoul Station Intersection, which will allow for public access temporarily on Jan. 1.
As part of the capital city's efforts to expand urban walking spaces, it embarked on a construction project in July to scale back on the roadway from Sejong-daero Junction through Namdaemun Intersection to Seoul Station and instead expand pedestrian spaces. Sejong-daero becomes a roadway with seven to nine lanes, narrower than the previous one with nine to 12 lanes. The area that was previously for vehicle access will turn into a pedestrian space of 13,950 square meters, more than double Seoul Square in size. Bicycle-only lanes are installed next to the pedestrian roads.
With the People Forest Road on Sejong-daero available for use, the Namdaemun area, an island-like chunk of space surrounded by roadways, will be renewed to allow for pedestrian access to the city's historical gate. One hundred and ninety-one forest trees such as zelkova trees, crape myrtles and Korean dogwoods will make the new urban pedestrian space greener, according to the city government.
However, concerns are increasing that the urban renewal project will cause a severe traffic jam due to the narrower roadways. Seoul City expects that there will be less traffic around the area given that reforms in the traffic signal system will lead vehicles to detour and drivers may use alternative routes to avoid Sejong-daero being concerned about heavy traffic. Around mid-November right after the pedestrian roads were expanded, the section travel speed partially decreased to 20.7 km/h but it has since risen back to the normal level of 21 km/h, according to the city government.
Ji-Hoon Lee firstname.lastname@example.org