Bicycles Will be Used in Seoul to Combat Global Warming

by Rajashri on Oct 23 2008 1:17 PM

Officials in the Seoul city government have announced plans to build 207 kilometres (129 miles) of cycle paths over the next four years extending to all corners of the South Korean capital in order to tackle global warming.

The 120-billion-won (88-million-dollar) plan is based on a "road diet" programme, under which the number of lanes for passenger vehicles in major roads will be cut to create new cycle paths.

It calls for the construction of 17 main cycle paths totaling 200 kilometres that criss-cross the sprawling city and one downtown seven-kilometre beltway.

"Any urban areas where commuters only rely on vehicles burning fuel cannot avoid blame for global warming and traffic congestion," Seoul City Mayor Oh Se-Hoon said on Wednesday, on the city government's website.

"We will make sure that bicycles will compete with vehicles for commuting in Seoul," said Oh, who rides his bicycle to work every day.

Only 1.6 percent of all commuters use bicycles in Seoul, partly due to a lack of dedicated paths. The city government wants to increase this to 4.4 percent in 2012, 7.6 percent in 2016, and 10 percent in 2020.

The city will also construct bicycle parks at 16 subway stations - complete with shower rooms and lockers for cyclists before they transit to the subway.