– On March 26, the Ahyeon overpass was demolished and from April, the Bus high speed lane between Sinchon-ro and Mapo-ro will be installed.
– According to the SMG, the average passage speed of buses has improved by 25% since the introduction of the Bus high speed lane in 2004. The SMG will continue to expand the bus lanes
– The Bus high speed lane will be extended to the Midong elementary school in Chungjeong-ro.
Six central bus lane stops and three crosswalks will be constructed in the area.
– Bus –only traffic lights, Bus-first signals and the Front-congestion prevention control system will be introduced to ease traffic congestion
– The SMG will continue to foster transportation environment that is safe and convenient both for vehicles and pedestrians through constant monitoring.
Traffic congestion has been constantly acute around the Ahyeon overpass area. However it is expected that situation will be greatly improved from August, and buses, vehicles, and local residents will be able to pass the area safely and fast.
The Seoul metropolitan government announced that the demolition work of the Ahyeon overpass was completed on March 26, and from early April, the construction work of the 2.2 km- Bus high speed lane between Sinchon-ro and Mapo-ro will be begun.
In 2004, the SMG adopted the Bus high speed lane in 12 main roads of Seoul, including Gangnam-daero and Seongsansusaek-ro, which stretches the total of 115.3 km in length. As a result, speed of buses has been improved by about 28%.
The SMG will thoroughly review the plan to gradually expand the bus lane in order to alleviate traffic congestions and to enhance convenience of public transportation passengers.
The Chungjeong-ro Bus high speed lane will increase the total length of bus lanes in 12 Seoul main roads to 117.5km. So far, the focus of bus lane installation has been to forge a Bus high speed lane network. But with the Chungjeong-ro bus lane construction, the SMG plans to optimize the efficiency of Bus high speed lane operation by extending the lane to downtown area.
The Chungjeong-ro Bus high speed lane is expected to significantly enhance the access to Seoul downtowns, by extending the Sinchon-ro and Mapo-ro bus lanes to the vicinity of the Midong elementary school in Chungjeong-ro. Currently, the Sinchon-ro spans only between Sinchon-rotary and the Wedding Town, while Mapo-ro bus lane spans only between the northern Mapodaegyo and Aeogae station (downtown area).
The local residents will be able to pass the area more conveniently as six central bus lane stops and three crosswalks will be installed in the bus high speed lane areas.
So far, in Sinchon-ro and wedding town area, pedestrian overpasses have been used due to the passenger safety concern.
Demolition of the Ahyeon overpass and installation of the crosswalks that stretch to the central bus stops are expected to greatly enhance passengers’ convenience, especially for the old and the infirm.
The Chungjeong-ro Bus high speed lane is expected to improve the bus passage speed by about 33% from 17.2km/h to 22.9km/h, and reduce passage time by three minutes between downtowns to outskirts.
Until now, the area has suffered from acute traffic congestion. During quitting time, the congestion has been even more severe, as a large number of vehicles continually enter the Sinchon area from the Ahyeon overpass.
Around the Wedding Town area where Sinchon-ro bus lane begins and ends, the traffic congestion has been common as buses are entangled with vehicles that enter to central lanes from the peripheral lanes. The extension of the bus lane is expected to greatly improve the traffic flow.
The Chungjeong-ro area is where three roads (Mapo-ro, Sinchon-ro,and Seosomun-ro) converge. As a result, traffic congestions are frequent in the area. In particular, it was estimated that in Ahyeon and Chungjeong-ro three-way intersections areas, up to 5,400 vehicles and up to 270 buses pass through the area per hour, which led to frequent congestions.
SMG plans to improve the traffic flow in the area, by setting up Bus –only traffic lights in three sections including the Ahyeon three-way intersection. In particular, the ‘Bus-first signals’ will be introduced in downtown-directed lanes in the Ahyeon three-way intersection as a pilot program.
The Bus-first signals is a method that allows buses to enter the lane before other vehicles, by giving traffic signals to buses 10 seconds faster than to other vehicles.
The signal system is expected to minimize the entanglement of buses with other vehicles, as it will give faster entrance of the buses when they alter the lane from Sinchon-ro to city hall-directed road after the left-turn in the Ahyeon three-way intersection.
In addition, the SMG will introduce ‘Front-congestion prevention control system’ in three way intersections of Gullebangdari, Ahyeon and Chungjeong-ro, which will prevent traffic congestion in the areas by preventing vehicles from entering the lane when there is a sign of gridlock in intersections.
‘Front-congestion prevention control system’ prevents vehicles from entering the already congested- lane back to back by limiting the number of vehicle entrance. Congestion detectors are installed 30 to 60 meter in front of intersections, and if the vehicle passage speed falls less than 5㎞/h, the light instantly turns to red, stopping vehicles from entering the intersection.
Kim Kyung-ho, the director of Seoul transportation department said, “SMG will continue to foster transportation environment that is safe and convenient both for vehicles and pedestrians. To this end, the city government will improve bus signals system, install more crosswalks as well as build Bus high speed lane in Chungjeong-ro. In addition, the SMG will seek best ways to operate the Bus high speed lane system through constant monitoring, and will make sure citizens who pass Chungjeong-ro area will not suffer from any inconveniences.”