SEOUL, Dec. 27 (Korea Bizwire) — Roads in downtown areas mainly designed for cars only will be renovated to ensure the safety of pedestrians.
The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport announced on Wednesday new plans to create a pedestrian-first road environment.
Roads used to be designed primarily for cars, with a specific focus on tackling traffic jams and ensuring access to other regions, preventing city authorities from reflecting city needs into road design.
The new plan will impose a speed limit of 20 to 60 km/h on city roads, slowing down traffic by at least 20 km/h compared to current speeds (up to 80 km/h).
The so-called ‘Safety Speed 5030’ policy will impose a 50 km/h speed limit on arterial highways in dense urban areas, and a 30 km/h speed limit on smaller roads.
As part of the initiative, yellow carpets for crosswalks and raised intersections will be installed to improve driver awareness and pedestrian safety.
Yellow carpets refer to yellow stripes painted on the ground or curbs of a crosswalk to mark the safety zone for children waiting before they cross the road, and make it easier for drivers to locate where the pedestrians are.
Under the new plan, current roads in urban areas will be replaced with narrower ones to create more space for pedestrians, while shortening the length of crosswalks to allow pedestrians to cross easily.
Shade canopies that protect pedestrians from scorching sunlight in summer and bus bulbs, pedestrian-friendly bus stops, will also be set up for convenience.
Furthermore, parklets, miniature-sized parks with tables and seats, will be set up around parking spaces near roads for the convenience of visitors.
H. M. Kang (firstname.lastname@example.org)