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SEOUL — Seoul city officials are asking residents to park their cars and take public transportation on Monday during the celebration of World Carfree Day.

While participation is not mandatory, U.S. Army Garrison Yongsan officials are encouraging the military community to take part.

“We want to support our neighbors in making this day a success,” garrison commander Col. Dave Hall said in a news release. “I encourage everybody in the community to use public transportation, ride a bicycle or walk on Monday.”

The event was created by the World Carfree Network, an organization dedicated to raising awareness about transportation alternatives. According to a press release from the group, the event is held in 1,500 cities and 40 countries and encourages “people to see their cities the way they could be with fewer cars.”

It’s Seoul’s second year celebrating the event, and officials will close government parking lots, shut down a major downtown thoroughfare and offer free early morning bus rides.

With about 4,650,000 personal autos registered in Seoul, the city is infamous for its traffic congestion.

“It is too early to tell ... how many people are to participate, but to get the successful result of the campaign, at least 20 percent of the people should take part in the movement,” said Song Sang-seop, director of Seoul’s Transportation Environment Division.

As part of the campaign, Jongro Street — which stretches between Sejongro street to the Dongdaemun gate — will close to everything but buses. Street performances and a parade of 1,000 bicycles will take place on Jongro.


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