In May, the Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG) will begin its road space reorganization project for the 1.5-km section from Sejong-daero Junction through Sungnyemun Junction to Seoul Station Junction, due to be completed by the end of 2020. A road space reorganization project is a project in which a car-centered traffic environment is transformed into a people-centered one by constructing spaces for public and green modes of transportation, such as bicycles, as well as pedestrian safety and convenience facilities on the road by reducing the number of its lanes or width.
By constructing a major pedestrian street, the SMG has a goal to connect other landmarks along the Sejong-dearo, including Gwanghwamun Square, Deoksugung Palace, Sungnyemun Gate and Seoullo 7017, to the street and implant rich content considering its landscaping and history to make the street an original brand of Seoul, like the renowned Avenue des Champs-Élysées in Paris.
First, the section between Sejong-daero Junction and Seoul Station Junction will be reduced from 9-12 lanes to 7-9 lanes. The former road will become a pedestrian space (13,950 m2) that is more than twice the size of Seoul Plaza (6,449 m2) and bicycle lanes will be set along the entirety of Sejong-daero.
Each point of the street will be turned into pedestrian space for relaxation by installing protective plates for street trees, crash barriers, and design benches that reflect unique ideas and design.
Second, the pedestrian street in front of Daehanmun Gate will be widened at least 6 meters, expanding History and Culture Square at least twice larger than the current size of 580 m2. Various history and culture events related to the Square will be operated in the nearby street of Jeongdong-gil and tour courses for pedestrians will be developed to shed light on the history of the neighborhood.
Third, a pedestrian space of the area of 500 m2 will be newly established around Sungnyemun Gate, and the crossroads heading to Namdaemun Market will be transferred so that on-foot accessibility can be drastically improved. The square in front of Namdaemun Market will be transformed into a park filled with greenery.
The SMG expects that following the completion of the Sejong-daero spatial reorganization, a “triangle commercial belt” will be formed to connect Bukchang-dong, Namdaemun Market and Seoul Station, and the enhanced pedestrian accessibility to the market will bring synergy to the neighborhood’s commercial area and vitalize the stagnant market in its vicinity.
Meanwhile, the SMG also has plans to finish the design of the project for ▴ Eulji-ro, ▴ Chungmu-ro and ▴ Changgyeonggung-ro, the core zones of the “road space reorganization project” within the green traffic area along with Sejong-daero, and begin construction in the second half of the year. The SMG has started to create the design for the spatial reorganization of ▴ Sogong-ro and ▴ Jangchungdan-ro as well.