Monday, May 12, 2014

Seoul's Big Data On Slow Motion

The densest traffic in Seoul? In front of Hongdae on Friday afternoons, according to the data crunched by Seoul (over 2013: 7.6 billion GPS records from part of the taxi fleet)*. It makes sense for a city where Hongdae, Cheonggyecheon, and Namdaemun see the slowest traffic on average, and where Friday is the slowest day (21.6 km/h), but makes me wonder if there's not a bias: in front of Hongik University Station, the right lane is very often blocked by cabs waiting for customers, with their GPS recording non-existing traffic jams... That said, let's cruise on.

Know that overall, Seoul posts a 26.4 km/h average speed: 18.7 km/h downtown (thank you Jung-gu!),  26.6 km/h in the rest of the city, and 59.9 km/h on expressways.

The following maps show averages at the district level, which is much less precise than a map of the main axis. It clearly penalizes tiny "red" Jung-gu: a significant share of its roads are perennial bottlenecks, while the much bigger Gangnam-gu compensates its notorious traffic jams with its vast quiet neighborhoods. At the geographical center of the capital, "Blue" Yongsan proves a rather efficient transportation hub. And if Seongbuk-gu comes as a surprise to you, remember that this district is home to almost half a million Seoulites, and that many Nowonites cross it every day, making circulation even more difficult between the Dongsomun-ro - Bukhansan scissors.

Average speeds per district / Weekdays on secondary roads

Weekdays / Weekend

If you want to follow in real time the traffic along Seoul's main axis, or watch live webcams along the way, visit SPATIC's website:

Seoul metropolitan Police Agency Traffic Information Center -

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* see "금요일 오후 홍대입구 가면 `거북이` 된다" (Seoul inews - 20140512)

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