Seoul City will remain responsive.
[Mayor Park Won Soon’s Hope Journal 115]
I just finished the sessions for direct talks with local residents held in Gangseo-gu and Yangcheon-gu. I will do my best to find the best solutions to matters that local residents and I discussed and those I heard in the streets, checking them meticulously. Seoul City will always remain responsive.
[Letter sent to the Seoul Mayor #1]
Dear Mr. Park Won Soon,
I know you are a very busy man, and you probably do not remember me. A couple of months ago, I wrote a letter to you asking for the withdrawal of the plan for the rearrangement of the No. 150 bus route, including the section that went through my village. You said that the matter I raised will be duly taken care of. The city official in charge also responded to my opinion kindly. Seeing how a local resident’s opinion was handled in Seoul City, I thought I would not mind even if my opinion was not accepted.
Fortunately, my opinion was accepted, and the 150 bus route was not changed in a way that would affect my village. 🙂 I could see that Seoul City officials really listen to the opinions of the local residents, and that they are ready to cope with a situation flexibly. I think this is a far cry from the past when people were supposed to follow decisions made by municipal authorities unilaterally. Many officials assumed a high-handed attitude, and it was very difficult to raise an objection to a decision once it is made by them. I thought people would be much happier if municipal administrative matters were handled based on transparency, responsiveness, and accountability. Seeing how Seoul City officials listened to the complaints that my neighbors and I raised and settled the matter for us, we feel deeply grateful.
I used to take the intra-city bus service for granted, but I came to realize that I would experience a great deal of inconvenience if the route is changed in a way that would affect my village. The No. 150 bus plies the route between Gia Bridge over Hangang River and the foot of Dobongsan Mountain. I understand the route takes a little more than two hours, and that the need for the rearrangement of the route was raised considering the bus drivers’ long work hours. I hope the situation will be improved such that most of the people concerned will be happy. In this regard, I would like to suggest one thing concerning the service route of the No. 150 bus.
Will it be difficult to increase the number of drivers working for said bus route to reduce their daily work hours? If rearrangement of said route is inevitable due to the difficulty in increasing the number of drivers, another route between Geumcheon-gu and downtown should be established. If my village is excluded from the current service route, many of my fellow villagers will experience a great deal of inconvenience. Thank you for listening to my opinion. I take my hat off to the Seoul City officials working under your leadership for the new way things are handled.
[Letter sent to the Seoul Mayor #2]
Dear Mr. Park Won Soon,
I cannot find the words to thank you enough for visiting the place where we live. I wanted to meet you personally during your visit here but could not do so because the place where I am working (I am a welfare worker for the handicapped) was not included in your itinerary. A colleague of mine was so disappointed that you could not pay a visit to our facility since he wanted very much to have his photo taken with you. Nonetheless, we are glad that you went to our neighborhood and listened to what the locals had to say.
I feel a little burdened by the matters raised by the local residents in Yangcheon-gu and Gangseo-gu during my visit, but encouraging remarks such as these give me energy. I reaffirm my resolve that Seoul City should remain responsive.