The Seoul Transportation Office of the Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG) gathered the opinions of district offices, police stations and citizens about areas where traffic improvement is required. For 24 areas, the SMG improved the traffic flow by securing additional lanes, re-distributing lanes, enhancing intersections’ structure, and adjusting traffic signals in response to the changes in the amount of the traffic following urban development, and prevented traffic accidents based on the maintenance of pedestrian islands and expansion of sidewalks in order to improve pedestrian safety.
The SMG conducted several street surveys with relevant institutions, listened to professional advice, and examined the conditions of the roads for better communication before preparing the plan for minimizing the inconvenience of citizens and executing construction work.
For 14 areas, including the underpass of Sinchon Train Station and the intersection of Dae Gwang High School, inconveniences caused by traffic congestion and using faraway detours were solved by making more lanes, making U-turn spots, and extending the left turn lanes. In particular, for the underpass of Sinchon Train Station, where traffic is usually congested as it is used as a detour after the implementation of Yonsei-ro as a “public-transport-only district” and “car-free street,” an additional left turn lane toward Yonsei University will be established to reduce the congestion owing to the concentration of detouring cars.
Asian Game Village Junction was operated with two lanes with no-right-on-red signal with heavy traffic for right turn. However, there were increased number of vehicles that violated the right-turn-only signal during pedestrian crossing signals, which increased the possibility of pedestrian accidents, and the congestion for right turns continued. Thus, the SMG adjusted the traffic signal and established a traffic island to operate only one lane for right turns.
For Olympic Park South Gate 4 Junction, there has been congestion following the increase in demand for left turns after the completion of construction of subway Line 9 on Baekjegobun-ro. Thus, the SMG used green space of the median strip to increase the volume of the lane for left turns and U-turns, which led to a 22% rise in car speed after the construction.
Before, the traffic from Seongbuk-gu Office to Korea University at Dae Gwang High School Junction used to take the detour or U-turn through the residential backstreets or at Sinseol-dong Junction, which led to inconvenience of local residents and risks of traffic accidents, because they could turn left at Dae Gwang High School Junction. The establishment of the left turn signal improved the traffic flow and decreased the through traffic to greatly contribute to preventing the pedestrian safety accident of the residential backstreets.
Improvements were also made to 10 areas, including the railroad crossing of Ichon Station and the north railroad crossing of Seobinggo, where the unreasonable road structure led to the inconvenience and high risk of traffic accidents of pedestrians. The SMG cooperated with the Korea National Railway to make cars and pedestrians move smoothly and safely by spatially separating the traffic path of pedestrians and vehicles, and adding safety facilities to secure the safe conditions for pedestrians.
The SMG will be monitoring areas where the traffic operation system has been improved and reflect the outcome of the project to continue pursuing the projects for the improvement of traffic and prevention of safety accidents.