By 2030, Seoul will be a haven for pedestrians. People will move from one place to another conveniently without using their private vehicles. Pedestrian paths will be expanded two-fold on the average. Public bikes will be available everywhere within the city. Complete Streets which are designed and operated to enable safe access for all users including pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists, and transit riders will be introduced.
We at Seoul Metropolitan Government announced the Seoul Transportation Vision 2030, a long-term vision concerning the direction pursued by Seoul Metropolitan Government in transportation in general, including public transportation and networks of roads, pedestrian paths, and urban railroad. The vision will serve as a roadmap for the transportation policy of Seoul Metropolitan Government.
If the past transportation policy focused on vehicles, ownership, and growth, said vision regards people, sharing, and environment as core values. The past transportation policy focused on the expansion and improvement of motor roads, thereby resulting in the overconsumption of energy and environmental problems. At present, transportation accounts for 31% of the entire energy spent in Seoul. About 61% of polluting materials are generated on roads. Annual traffic congestion expenses were pegged at 7.5 trillion won in 2010.
The three key policy directions of the Seoul Transportation Vision 2030 are as follows: people-centered transport, transportation shared with others, and transportation system that considers the environment. First of all, pedestrian paths will be expanded two-fold to establish a transportation environment centered on pedestrians and bikes. A public bike system will be introduced. Pedestrian-only roads such as the one in Sejong-ro will be expanded throughout the city. We will increase the public bike places to foster an environment just like the Velib City bike rental scheme in Paris.
Considering the fact that about 70% of traffic accidents involving pedestrians occur on neighborhood roads whose width is less than 13m, we will take measures to overhaul road conditions in neighborhoods. By 2030, the speed limit in all neighborhood roads will be set to 30km/h or lower. Arrangements will be made to enable the people to get to the nearest subway station within 10 minutes anywhere in Seoul. The KTX line and the rapid transit railroad for the Greater Seoul area will be extended to Seoul city wall, Gangnam, and Yeouido.
Under the “complete streets” vision, we will introduce a car-sharing campaign. When building a new road or overhauling an existing road, we will secure space for all, i.e., pedestrians, bikes, buses, and private vehicles. For the lofty goal of environmental improvement, we will do what we can to ease the dependence on private cars from 18.4% to 10% by 2030. All buses and taxis will be replaced by those emitting no polluting materials. The percentage of congested section of trunk roads will be reduced from 19% to 10%. Other innovative measures to be taken include: system of congestion charge (imposed based on the distance); smart work system (flexible work hours); Solar Way (a method of producing energy using bus stops, street lights, anti-noise walls, and road surfaces, and; relocation of chronically congested sections of roads to underground, with the ground level formed as a park.
Seoul Metropolitan Government also made 11 promises that will reduce the rush hour commute time by 30% through the reduction of the use of private cars and increase the use of green means of transport by 30% by 2030. Many improvements have been made in transportation in Seoul over the past two decades. The aforesaid vision will serve as a new roadmap for the next two decades. By 2030, Seoul will have become a city known for its safe transportation, with environment and people considered the top priority.