Monday, December 12, 2011

Bike Paths of South Korea

One of the things I love about Korea, and one of the reasons I want to live there, is the institution of the public bicycle: you can check out a bicycle from a neighborhood site as you would a book from the library. I admit that I'd be nervous about riding a bicycle in Seoul traffic, but the bikes are also available outside the most congested areas. There also a good many bike paths. Several years ago I rode with a friend and his family on a balmy summer evening from their neighborhood in Geoyeo-dong to the Olympic Stadium a couple of miles away.

Public bicycles must be popular among Koreans, because President Lee's administration seems to be trying to use them as a promotion for Lee's very unpopular Four Rivers Restoration project; so says the Hankyoreh, anyway. The bicycles in the photo, near Gangbyeon Subway Station, were no longer there a couple of days later. In the US that would mean they'd been stolen, repainted, and sold, but in Korea it means something is afoot.