Thursday, April 30, 2009

좌측통행 no more?

For decades, Korean pedestrians were directed to walk on the left side of the sidewalk, road, staircase, etc., a remnant of the Japanese colonial days when everything — including automobile traffic on roadways which the victorious Allies would later change — was oriented that way.

Korea was in an odd situation where pedestrian traffic (and line #1 of the Seoul subway) was directed to go "Japanese-style" (좌측통행) while automobile traffic went "American-style." This will soon be no more, as governmental authorities are directing pedestrian traffic to also go American.

The truth is, despite the 좌측통행 "keep to the left" signs, half the pedestrians were essentially going the wrong way*. With the new regulations, there will still be half going the wrong way, except now it will be the other half.

* I'm exaggerating a bit. In places without many people, many folks would randomly go whichever way was more convenient. In particularly crowded places, the crowds (at least the ones around Seoul Station and downtown where I live) would generally pick the left side and run with it (figuratively running, that is).

[above: Rebel.]

1 comment:

  1. oh man. this is some of the best news i've heard in a while even though, like you say, a lot of people will still be doing what they want. at least i'll be in the right...or should i say on the right. ho ho ho


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