Friday, October 14, 2005

inappropriate use of sidewalks

I enjoy walking. I walk whenever I can. But walking seems to be discouraged in Korea.

I wrote about motorcycles on sidewalks in Feb. and I found an article in the Herald about a Korean who lived briefly overseas who shares my complaint. I mention that he lived overseas as those who have never left Korea may just accept parked cars and motorcycles on the pedestrianways as expected.

From the article:

Why are we sharing sidewalks with motorcycles and scooters?
Our Seoul government office has just spent billions revitalizing a river and
recently hosted a global mayor's conference. I was there. And I felt anything
but pride. It was embarrassing having mayors (and their representatives) from
Rome and Tokyo sidestepping scooters and breathing in their fumes as they walked
along city-center sidewalks. This doesn't happen in other large first world
metropolitan centers. A motorcycle zipping along the sidewalks of Chicago? A
scooter blowing on its horn for pedestrians to clear the way in London?

I don't usually have such problems in Sokcho but I do see cars parked at the crosswalks. When I start to use the stroller with my son, I expect to have to lift it over curbs as the ramps are usually blocked by parked cars.

I wish I could blame the police (and I frequently mumble about where they could be hiding) but for such a long-term and nationwide problem, I have to beg the voters to take the blame or create pressure to fix the problem.

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