Korean President Devotes Address To Benefits Of Cycling

Postby Tama on Wed 20/May/09 10:51am

http://www.koreaherald.co.kr/NEWKHSITE/ ... 210007.asp wrote:Riding a bicycle has become a national agenda so crucial that President Lee Myung-bak devoted whole of a regular policy address to trumpeting it as part of a "green revolution" yesterday.
"Bicycles are the partner of green growth. Reinstating the bike, which is free from carbon emissions, as a main transport means is the path we have to take," Lee said in his fortnightly radio talk.

Lee has championed "low-carbon, green growth" as a national vision to promote economic advancement and tackle environmental challenges.

Biking is a key component of the plans, along with increased use of renewable energies, investment in eco-friendly technologies and building homes and offices that consume less energy.

In the 10-minute address, Lee promised to expand bike paths nationwide, improve safety for riders and promote the related manufacturing industries.

"Main bicycle lanes will connect across the nation from east to west, from north to south. These bike arteries will be linked to bike veins in each and every town and city," the president envisioned.

The government plans to invest 1.25 trillion won ($950 billion) in laying bicycle-only routes stretching more than 3,000 kilometers nationwide by 2018, according to the Ministry of Land, Transportation and Maritime Affairs.

This year alone, the government has earmarked 69 billion won for building about 170 kilometers in model cycle paths.

Officials expect the infrastructure projects to create jobs and help overcome the current economic difficulties.

"By 2012 when four major rivers are refurbished, some 2,000 kilometers of bike roads will have been laid along the rivers," Lee said.

"Underdeveloped towns will also attract bike riders and neighbors will be able to benefit economically."

Lee described the bicycle riding as part of "green revolution of everyday life" to save energy, reduce pollution and improve health.

"Cyclists will be able to experience the 'aesthetics of slowness' that can not be enjoyed by car drivers," he said.

In Korea, bicycles make up only 1.2 percent of vehicle journeys, in comparison to 14 percent and 10 percent in Japan and Germany, respectively.

The government aims to raise the percentage to 5 percent by 2012 and 10 percent by 2017.

Lee promised efforts to make biking safer and more convenient.

"It is hard to bike to work, school and market with the roads as they are," he said. "I think that we have to conduct a 'road diet' for the safety and convenience of cyclists," he added.

More separate bike paths will be put on downtown roads and new insurance products will be developed against accidents and thefts.

More bike stands will be put on streets and around facilities and cyclist-only carriages will be placed on subway trains, he added.

Lee also promised to boost troubled domestic bike manufacturing industry and support development of high-tech products.

"When the bike network is completed, the nation will need 10 million, 20 million bicycles. But how deplorable it will be if we have to import all the vehicles we need," he said.

Korea imports more than 2 million bikes annually mainly from China, Netherlands and Canada.

With many manufacturers relocating overseas to cut labor costs since the 1990s, only 20-30 domestic companies produce about 20,000 vehicles each year.

"I want the nation to make bicycles as early as possible. I hope that the nation will develop core technologies combined with green technologies and produce high value-added bicycles for both domestic use and export," he said.

The government recently announced plans to revive the industry by encouraging businesses to produce quality products including high-end mountain bikes, and commuter-style hybrids with a battery-charged motor that kicks in when going uphill, and bicycles with wireless navigation.

Lee address came up with the start of a week-long bicycle themed event. The nine-day festival will kick off nationwide this weekend.

By Hwang Jang-jin


From CAN: http://www.can.org.nz
Tama
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Re: Korean President Devotes Address To Benefits Of Cycling

Postby Henry Dorset Case on Wed 20/May/09 11:10am

Is he ronery?

Has he fed Hans brix to the sharks?

Has alec baldwin given a speech yet?
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Re: Korean President Devotes Address To Benefits Of Cycling

Postby crazychris on Wed 20/May/09 11:30am

Tama wrote:
http://www.koreaherald.co.kr/NEWKHSITE/ ... 210007.asp wrote:
The government plans to invest 1.25 trillion won ($950 billion) in laying bicycle-only routes stretching more than 3,000 kilometers nationwide by 2018, according to the Ministry of Land, Transportation and Maritime Affairs.



From CAN: http://www.can.org.nz

holy crap! Imagine having budgets like that!
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Re: Korean President Devotes Address To Benefits Of Cycling

Postby jo on Wed 20/May/09 11:36am

Somehow I cant see John Key giving a similar speech. :huh:
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Re: Korean President Devotes Address To Benefits Of Cycling

Postby FLATULENTFRIEND on Wed 20/May/09 6:10pm

:eh: My wife and I tutor part of a Korean family in Engrish.
They tell us that in Spring the sandy winds come down from China loaded with pollution and people outside have to wear masks so at that time of year what would cyclists (commuters) have to wear - charcoal filters, clean-air fed respirators?

:thumbsup: But - good on him and the govt. if they back it well.
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Re: Korean President Devotes Address To Benefits Of Cycling

Postby Oli on Wed 20/May/09 6:14pm

In Engrish? Is that a joke?
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Re: Korean President Devotes Address To Benefits Of Cycling

Postby FLATULENTFRIEND on Wed 20/May/09 6:18pm

Oli wrote:In Engrish? Is that a joke?


:sly: Didn't think you'd get it.
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Re: Korean President Devotes Address To Benefits Of Cycling

Postby Oli on Wed 20/May/09 6:19pm

I got it, alright. I got most of Benny Hill's jokes too. :hmmm:
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