Illegal Parking around Triple Street Mall endangers pedestrians, cyclists and other road users

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By HongJae Bae and Bailey Butler

A significant level of illegal parking on the roads in and around Triple Street Mall is causing a noticeable increase of danger for pedestrians, cyclists and other drivers.

Individuals regularly find themselves travelling through Triple Street Mall in several ways, the biggest being the subway, driving, and walking. Jaywalking is a common action that pedestrians regularly take part in due to the long wait times of the timed-light systems in South Korea, which is more dangerous when vision of the road is obscured for both pedestrians and drivers in the area.

On October 7th, we found ourselves wandering the roads surrounding and cutting through the large mall, and were surprised by how many cars were parked in the rightmost lane on the roads, taking up most of the lane and essentially dubbing the lane unusable to other drivers.

Scott Morris, an American currently living in Songdo, comments that he has “never seen anyone get pulled over for anything” during his time in South Korea, mentioning the danger of the vehicles hindering their view of the road when crossing the streets as well.

Morris’s wife, Kirsten, also mentions the slow traffic in Songdo results in people regularly jaywalking and cars even running red lights. This can be considered a significant danger to pedestrians who cannot see past cars and large vehicles that are parked illegally on the side of the road.

There are several different parking lots in the two basement floor sections of the Triple Street Mall, as well as an empty dirt lot for parking on the main level of the mall. These parking lot entrances and exits can be found on each side of the mall, ad contain colour and number specific identification to help patrons remember which lot they parked in.

At the time of reporting, it was discovered that parking at the Triple Street Mall is completely free, and even has a system by the elevators that allows patrons to search the last four digits of their license place to find where they are parked.

WooJun Seo, a patron using the parking garage while on his way to the movie, commented “the illegally parked cars make it harder and more unsafe to drive, because I sometimes have to drive over the orange line to get around people.” He also talks about how convenient the parking system at triple street is thanks to the elevators and it being free.

An elderly couple who wished to remain unnamed mentioned that “someone drives around on the weekends and tickets people who park illegally, but everyone just ignores them and keeps doing it.” However, the couple believed differently than Seo, stating that illegally parking was easier than parking in the garage then wait for and going up and down the elevators.

They also made comments about how this affects jaywalking and running red lights, calling the timed-light systems “unnecessary long” and had vocalized how much better a button-based system, similar to the kind of light system found in America.