Seoul to Introduce Cycling Proficiency Certification System in June and Offer Discounted Fares for Ttareungi The SMG is introducing the cycling proficiency certification system similar to driver’s license test in June to promote the culture of safe cycling. The certificate can be obtained after completing the bicycle safety education and passing written and practical tests. Bicycle riders who hold the certificate will be able to get discounted rates for the Ttareungi, the Seoul Public Bicycle, for 2 years. The tests are designed to evaluate the bicycle riders’ knowledge of essential traffic and cycling rules such as exhibiting hand signals before turning right or left, and whether the cyclist has a stable riding skill. There will be a clear division of responsibilities related to safety education between the SMG and autonomous districts, and an efficient and systematic operating system will be built as well. The SMG will take the leading role in operating the safety education system and will be responsible for the development and education of cycling instructors. The autonomous districts will be in charge of providing safety education for citizens who wish to obtain the certificate as well as general citizens. For this purpose, the SMG has developed standard textbooks customized for different age groups from pre-school children to adults. In addition, a general website for bicycle safety education was opened at the end of April where citizens can check availability of and apply for safety education sessions and certificate tests. The SMG announced that the bicycle safety education system will be renewed entirely, and the five major changes made to the system are as follows: (a) introduction of a bicycle and road safety education certification system; (b) customized education using standard textbooks for different age groups; (c) fostering cycling instructors; (d) bicycle maintenance education; and (e) opening a general website for bicycle safety education. 1. Starting June this year, the bicycle and road safety education certification system that evaluates cycling proficiency will be introduced. The SMG will issue a certificate to those who complete the bicycle safety education, and pass a written test on essential traffic rules that all bicycle riders must know (1 hour) and a practical test on curved and straight riding courses (1 hour). The certificate will be valid for 2 years.The bicycle safety education conducted by the autonomous district will be composed of 1 hour of theoretical education and 2 hours of practical education (minimum). The schedule for the education program will vary between the districts. The discounted rate for Ttareungi will be applied from July after revision to ordinance (those who obtain the certificate in June will be eligible for the discounted rate from July). The certificate holder will be eligible for the discounted rate for 2 years since the first day of using the discounted rate. If a person wishes to continue to benefit from the discounted rate after this period, he/she must take the test again (the bicycle safety education requirement is waived for certificate holders). * Third graders and older children who can comprehend Hangeul can take the written and practical tests ** The discounted rate for Ttareungi is only available for those who are eligible to use the service (13 years old or older)*** A personal information collection agreement will be issued to the applicant who wishes to benefit from the discounted rate for Ttareungi. There will be a total of 4 test centers in each district. As of now, the confirmed locations of the test centers are the Traffic Safety Experience Center in Dongdaemungu, Bicycle Education Center in Gwanak-gu, and Safety Training Center in Songpa-gu. An additional center will be opened in the Gangbuk region. 2.Standard textbooks customized for different age groups were developed. The standard textbooks were developed for pre-school children, elementary school students, middle and high school students, and adults for maximum educational effect. The curriculum includes essential traffic rules and hand signals that all bicycle riders must know and practice, and how to use personal mobility devices which are rapidly increasing in number. Due to the COVID-19 situation and the current trend of non-face-to-face education, online educational videos will be made based on the textbooks and will be distributed to the autonomous districts. The SMG will offer customized safety education that is more effective and practical by uploading the relevant content on the SMG’s YouTube channel, blog, etc. to make it easier for citizens to access them. 3.80 more cycling instructors are planned to be trained this year. Based on the newly developed bicycle safety education textbook by the SMG, the training course will encompass theoretical studies such as the structure of bicycle, related law and regulation, and teaching method as well as practical knowledge including road safety in practice, riding skills, maintenance practice, and first aid. The trainees will be able to obtain the cycling instructor certificate when they pass the instructor qualification certification test (theoretical and practical tests) after completing the SMG’s cycling instructor training course. Applicants can apply for a total of 4 classes to be held this year. The first class started on Mon, Apr. 26 for 5 days (a total of 25 hours). For prevention of the spread of COVID-19 and efficient operation of the course, each class will be limited to 20 trainees. Any Seoul citizen who has the qualities and personalities of a cycling instructor can apply for the course. Applicants affiliated with schools, educational institutions and organizations will be given priority consideration. 4.The bicycle maintenance education course will be held biannually. Reflecting the growing demand on bicycle maintenance education along with a growing number of bicycle riders, the course will be oriented toward practical skills such as how to check and repair bicycles parts and how to respond to emergency situations such as punctured tires and broken chains while riding. Each course will consist of 8 hours. Anyone including those who have completed the cycling instructor training course and Seoul citizens can apply for the course. In order to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and operate the course efficiently, each class will be limited to 25 trainees (first-come-first-served basis). 5.The SMG will newly open a general website for bicycle safety education at the end of this month, which contains comprehensive information on bicycle education for citizens who could not easily find bicycle-related educational information. Citizens had to visit individual government agency websites to find information on bicycle education. From the end of April, citizens can find information on (curricular, availability, and locations) and apply for various bicycle education programs such as bicycle safety education programs run by the autonomous districts, bicycle and road safety education certification system, cycling instructor training course, and bicycle maintenance in one place. Seoul is the First in the Country to Designate Senior Traffic Accident-Prone Areas Around Traditional Markets as “Senior Protection Zones”
Seoul is the First in the Country to Designate Senior Traffic Accident-Prone Areas Around Traditional Markets as “Senior Protection Zones” Although the number of traffic accidents that cause fatalities for senior pedestrians in Seoul is decreasing significantly each year (97 deaths in 2018, 72 deaths in 2019, and 60 deaths in 2020), senior citizens still account for more than half of the deaths caused by traffic incidents. 60 out of 115 pedestrians (52%) who were killed in traffic accidents last year were senior citizens. Traffic accidents that result in the death of senior pedestrians are most frequent around “traditional markets.” About 40% of the traffic accidents involving senior pedestrians occurred around traditional markets. However, there is no traditional market in Korea that is designated as a “Senior Protection Zone.” This is because the areas designated by the “Road Traffic Act” do not include traditional markets. For the first time in Korea, the Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG) is going to designate roads around traditional markets that are often congested with moving goods, visitors, and illegally parked vehicles and cause 40% traffic accidents involving senior pedestrians as “Senior Protection Zones.” Since the “Road Traffic Act” does not include these areas, the city established an institutional basis by revising the ordinance. The first Senior Protection Zones will be established around the four markets with the highest number of accidents – Seongbuk-gu Janwui Market, Dongdaemun-gu Cheongnyang-ri Vegetable and Fruit Market, Dobong-gu Flea Market, and Dongjak-gu Seongdae Market. The Senior Protection Zones will be designated in June. In the designated zones, the driving limit changed to 30㎞/hr, and illegally parked vehicles will be subject to a fine that is twice the amount of that on standard roads (KRW 80,000). Signboards will be installed to inform drivers of the “Senior Protection Zones,” and road traffic safety facilities such as speed cameras, speed bumps, and anti-sliding pavement will be enhanced in the zones. The SMG explained that we now need more effective safety measures to reduce the number of traffic accidents involving senior pedestrians as society is becoming a super-aging society after becoming an aging society in 2018. As of the end of 2020, 1.57 million people out of the 9.65 million population of Seoul were senior citizens (16.3%) ✽Source: KoROAD, National Police Agency For the first time in Korea, the Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG) is going to designate roads around traditional markets that are often congested with moving goods, visitors, and illegally parked vehicles and cause 40% traffic accidents involving senior pedestrians as “Senior Protection Zones.” Since the “Road Traffic Act” does not include these areas, the city established an institutional basis by revising the ordinance. The first Senior Protection Zones will be established around the four markets with the highest number of accidents – Seongbuk-gu Janwui Market, Dongdaemun-gu Cheongnyang-ri Vegetable and Fruit Market, Dobong-gu Flea Market, and Dongjak-gu Seongdae Market. The Senior Protection Zones will be designated in June. In the designated zones, the driving limit changed to 30㎞/hr, and illegally parked vehicles will be subject to a fine that is twice the amount of that on standard roads (KRW 80,000). Signboards will be installed to inform drivers of the “Senior Protection Zones,” and road traffic safety facilities such as speed cameras, speed bumps, and anti-sliding pavement will be enhanced in the zones. The SMG explained that we now need more effective safety measures to reduce the number of traffic accidents involving senior pedestrians as society is becoming a super-aging society after becoming an aging society in 2018. The city revised the “Ordinance on Senior Protection Zones” in January this year in order to establish an institutional basis to designate the roads around traditional markets as Senior Protection Zones. Since it is not clear as to who will apply for the designation of Senior Protection Zones around traditional markets unlike local welfare centers and senior community centers, the protection zones will be established by the official authority of the mayor of Seoul. Since the introduction of the “Senior Protection Zone” program in 2007, the SMG has been designating “Senior Protection Zones” around places where there is a large floating senior population such as local welfare centers, senior community centers, medical facilities, and more. As of now, there are 163 Senior Protection Zones in downtown Seoul. Although streets around traditional markets were not designated as “Senior Protection Zones,” the city has been continuously working on safety improvement projects, installing pedestrian paths, pedestrian islands, and jaywalking prevention facilities. The SMG announced that it will first designate the areas surrounding four traditional markets as “Senior Protection Zones” this year and will extend the program to 11 new zones including other traditional markets by the end of this year. The four traditional markets that will be subject to the first round of the program will be ▲Jangwui Market in Seongbuk-gu, Cheongnyang-ri Vegetable and Fruit Market in Dongdaemungu, ▲Dobong-gu Flea Market, and ▲Seongdae Market in Dongjak-gu. The entrance to Jangwui Market in Seongbuk-gu is very prone to congestion due to the visitors, moving vehicles, and illegally parked vehicles. Four senior pedestrian accidents occurred in this area in 2019 alone. The city installed X-shaped crosswalks and signal flags in each direction so that pedestrians can safely cross the roads in any direction when the pedestrian signal turns gr4een. In addition, the city will install illegal parking surveillance cameras to prevent illegal parking around the area, expand the pedestrian paths, and build safety fences to eradicate illegal parking completely. The road in front of Cheongnyang-ri Fruit and Vegetable Market is a busy area often occupied by vehicles and people buying goods. It was a representative “red flag area” where more than ten senior pedestrian accidents occurred each year. The city installed pedestrian paths and safety fences in this area in 2019. As a result, the number of senior pedestrian accidents decreased to four cases last year.The city plans to designate this area as a Senior Protection Zone to make sure drivers protect senior pedestrians while also driving safely to prevent accidents completely In addition, the SMG will designate “Seongdaesijang-gil” in Sangdo-3(sam)-dong, Dongjakgu and the surrounding roads of the traditional market that represents Dobong-gu, “Dobonggu Flea Market” as “Senior Protection Zones.” “Seongdaesijang-gil” is a street where safety facilities such as pedestrian paths and crosswalks could not be installed due to the narrowness of the street despite the fact that it is witness to around ten senior pedestrian accidents every year.Accident-prone Areas such as ‘Iljasan Park in Gangdong-gu’ will be Designated as ‘Senior Protection Zones’The city will also designate the streets in front of Iljasan Park in Gangdong-gu and Boramae Park in Gwanak-gu, which are accident-prone areas, as a “Senior Protection Zones.” The intersection in front of Iljasan Park located in Dunchon-2(i)-dong, Gangdong-gu is frequently used by elderly citizens due to its proximity to the park and Bohun Hospital. At the same time, the road is a straight road that directly connects Gangdong-gu and Songpa-gu, thus attracting a lot of traffic. Vehicles often do not adhere to the speed limit, aggravating the situation. In 2019, it was witness to two senior pedestrian deaths. The city will designate the section around Dongnam-ro, including this area, as a “Senior Protection Zone” and install speed cameras in both directions of the intersection and red antisliding pavement on the road to secure visibility. In addition, the city will focus on installing a “voice guidance facility for pedestrians” that detects and notifies jaywalking pedestrians around the crosswalk using floor signals, safety fences, lighting, and sensors. Gosanja-ro in front of Gyeongdong Market, Dongdaemun-gu, and Boramae-ro in front of Boramae Park in Gwanak-gu, where two senior pedestrian deaths occurred, are subject to being designated as Senior Protection Zones. However, they are currently undergoing or will soon be undergoing construction for the Sinrim Line (Light Rail). For this reason, the city will install temporary measures for jaywalking prevention facilities such as safety fences. After the completion of the Light Rail, the city will designate those areas Senior Protection Zones and manage them accordingly. Seoul-wide Standardized Design to Ensure Professionalism and Consistency in Road Safety Facilities Installed in “Senior Protection Zones” As the Seoul Metropolitan Government is designating “traditional markets” as Senior Protection Zones for the first time this year, it will develop different standard models that reflect both the characteristics of senior pedestrian accidents and the unique traffic situations of each location. The city will select a “specialized institution for traffic safety diagnosis” which will perform this task by the end of this month. Meanwhile, in “traditional markets,” work vehicles are often parked in front of commercial buildings to load and unload goods. Since such activities are an inevitable part of business operation, the city will have time to negotiate the situation with the merchant associations and the related departments in the local district governments ahead of the designation of “Senior Protection Zones” in order to find reasonable solutions, such as the designation of work vehicle parking hours during the times when senior pedestrians are inactive.
Proposal for the Direction of Seoul’s Overseas Transportation Project Kang Youn-soo, Vice President, Soosung Engineering As the capital city of the Republic of Korea, Seoul is the center of the country’s politics, economy, society, culture, and ransportation. In particular, transportation in Seoul is a mini-version of the transportation of the rest of the country. The city is a collection of cuttingedge transportation systems through which one can see an overview of the transportation policies and technologies led by the Korean government including advanced ICT-transportation convergence infrastructures such as ITS, BIS, BMS, BRT, transportation cards, C-ITS, autonomous driving, and so on. Seoul’s entry into the international transportation industry based on its experience in establishing cutting-edge transportation infrastructures is a strategically important field. Supporting the transportation of a country is incredibly important since it contributes greatly to the country’s economic development by supporting sustainable, not temporary, development of the industries as well as society, economy, and safety of the receiving country by improving access to transportation while facilitating convenient mobility.In addition, one area of cutting-edge transport, Intelligent Transport System (ITS), is a future convergence and integration industry that creates effects, such as urban traffic congestion relief and reduction of accidents, fuel consumption, and CO2 emissions, through connection and integration with ICT. In particular, transportation in smart cities, which is currently being promoted around the world, can provide more convenient services by connecting and integrating all of the city’s systems to create services for citizens.Accordingly, there was a steady increase in both demands and requests from developing countries to benchmark Seoul’s cutting-edge urban traffic policies and for know-hows on the system. The Seoul Metropolitan Government has supported the construction of advanced traffic systems in 60 cities by providing consulting services on Seoul’s excellent traffic policies that are in high demand overseas and providing support for system construction, thus contributing to improving the living conditions of the citizens in these cities. However, the level of support that Seoul shows to overseas traffic projects is quite low, although the city has and operates one of the world’s best transportation systems. Due to various problems related to strategy, budget, and human resources, the city concentrated on consulting services and capability reinforcement, instead of directly dealing with system construction. I would like to make a few suggestions to solve this problem. Firstly, the Seoul Metropolitan Government has established Seoul Policy Expansion Models by dividing the target regions into focused expansion regions, strategic expansion regions, midto-long-term expansion regions, and so on. However, these divisions were merely based on geographical and national categorization, so city-related transportation polices were often not applicable. Accordingly, instead of promoting overseas projects based on geographical division, the focus should be placed on whether it is feasible to apply the urban transportation policies that Seoul has applied so far in the target regions, countries, and cities. Secondly, the current structure of the Seoul Metropolitan Government, such as organization and budget, makes it hard for the city to directly perform the construction of the transportation systems in overseas projects. Seoul has one of the most advanced transportation systems in the world, and it has been communicating closely with various cities throughout the world that want such a system. Through this, the city knows exactly what the transportation issues are in each country. Accordingly, it would be necessary to actively promote ideas on developing projects from the problems of each city through government department business proposals and revitalize the promotion of the top-quality overseas transportation projects without being restricted to budgets in connection with KOICA and the Export-Import Bank of Korea. Lastly, various overseas transportation projects that the Seoul Metropolitan Government proposes should not be left as business proposals, and instead, the city should actively participate in the construction projects in order to successfully achieve its goals. It can be regarded that the El Salvador business model that Seoul proposed as a government department proposal project will be able to become a model through which Seoul can actively approach various overseas projects. The urban transportation project in San Salvador, El Salvador was a department proposal project suggested by the Seoul Metropolitan Government. KOICA operated the project, and the preliminary research and in-depth planning and research were conducted and completed under the supervision of Seoul. In addition, according to the in-depth planning and research report, the project was composed with the active participation and leadership of the Seoul Metropolitan Government as well as Seoul’s performance of management consultancy (PMC) and monitoring of the project from conception to completion. For this purpose, Seoul needs to allocate the minimum budget and human resources.So far, I have made a few suggestions for the smooth promotion of overseas transportation projects led by the Seoul Metropolitan Government. The transportation system in Seoul is recognized globally for its excellence. I hope to see quantitative and qualitative expansion of Seoul’s transportation support projects so that Seoul’s experiences in policy execution and technology implementation capabilities are shared with cities around the world through overseas transportation projects in the form of support for developing countries and so that the related industries of supporting countries can develop. I look forward to the development and mutual cooperation of the providing and receiving countries through cooperation in the field of transportation.