All of you hitting the road this weekend, beware:
Those leaving Seoul for their provincial home over the lunar New Year would be wise to avoid 6 a.m. to noon on Sunday, the day before the new moon. On the way back, the traffic will be worst between noon and 6 p.m. on New Year’s Day.
The Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs on Thursday said an average of 3.4 million cars per day will use expressways between Jan. 23 and 28, 3.76 million of them on New Year’s Day. The figure is up 2.4 percent from a year ago. “Our estimate is that the biggest number of people will leave Seoul for their hometowns in the morning of Jan. 25,” a ministry spokesman said.
According to a nationwide telephone survey of some 6,800 adults by the Korea Transport Institute, 79.2 percent said they would drive to their hometowns in their own car, and 22.2 percent said they will leave between 6 a.m. and noon on Jan. 25. The period between 6 a.m. and noon on Saturday came second with 15.3 percent.
On the way back to Seoul, 26.3 percent replied they would leave their hometown between noon and 6 p.m. on Monday, and 22.8 percent they would leave between noon and 6 p.m. on Tuesday.
A bus-only lane on the Gyeongbu Expressway will be effective from Saturday morning until midnight on Tuesday on 141 km between south of the Hannam Bridge and Sintanjin IC. Up-to-date information can be found by calling 1588-2505 24 hours a day. [Chosun Ilbo]