Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Hoehyeon-dong overpass passed away

Another overpass is being removed in Seoul. As scheduled, the Hoehyeon Sagori concrete structure will disappear, liberating the view on Namsan Tower from the North.

This crossroads is often saturated : it cuts Toegyero at the exit of Namsan's 3rd Tunnel towards City Hall, right in front of Shinsegae, between Myeongdong and Namdaemun market.

The area is getting more residential, with 3 housing complexes nearing delivery : a SK Leaders View opposite the Department Store, a Lotte Castle behind Woori Bank building, and a Ssangyong Platinum next to LG CNS (Ssangyong is also growing an office building on the other side of that tower).

I won't say I'll miss the old Hoehyeon-dong, except for that quiet place guarded by a gigantic gingko tree. The crossroad area may become human friendlier, provided pedestrians are offered better and safer paths above ground. Under it, there's always that old shopping area if you're into corny paintings, vintage LPs, or stamp collections.

Without this overpass, more people may notice the proximity with the mountain in an otherwise green-free area. To make the invitation even more obvious, a small funicular was opened a few months ago, connecting the street with Namsan cable cars, higher on the hill.

I'm afraid it will take bigger investments in public transportation to compensate for the overpass and the flocks of new residents.

I think it would make sense to establish future connections with Yongsan-gu, particularly towards poorly served but soon to be redevelopped Huam-dong.

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