[Tip-off] Illegal street vendors in Yeouido Hangang-gongwon produce chaos lacking social responsibility during the weekend...how to resolve it?
[Tip-off] Illegal street vendors in Yeouido Hangang-gongwon produce chaos lacking social responsibility during the weekend...how to resolve it?
  • HueSoung Jun Reporter / Yohan Bok Reporter
  • 승인 2023.06.06 13:24
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(Photo: HueSoung Jun Reporter)

[Consumerwide_ HueSoung Jun Reporter / Yohan Bok Reporter] During the weekend, including the Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, by the entrance of Hangang-gongwon, Yeouido, it is in chaos with overwhelming illegal street vendors selling food and their customers.

"The bicycle road right before the entrance of the park is extremely crowded with groups of walking crowds and people waiting in line to purchase street food. Considering the space being overwrapped with bicycle path, it is quite predictable that many accidents can be occured between bicycle riders and walking padistrians. While this chaos is being repeated, it doesn't seem to me the managing authority (Yeouido information center) care much about it." This is what Consumerwide interviewed after getting a tipoff from our reader, Mr.A.

Mr.A went to Hanganggongwon to enjoy spring on his bicycle. It was about 9pm, Friday. And, he faced chaos at the entrance of the park. The bicycle road was packed with walking pedestrians and the whole area was surrounded by smoke from the street food vendors. Eventually, Mr.A had to get off the bike in order to cross the street. It was the same on Saturday evening.

Mr.A described the situation. "I almost felt the bicycle road like Padistrian street as groups of people were walking around the road freely. Right by the bicycle road, street food vendors were busy selling food and their customers were lining up to get the food. I saw a situation that could have led to an accident. There needs to be a change."

The bicycle road has disappeared, but was filled with people waiting for the food to purchase from illegal vendors. (Photo : HueSoung Jun Reporter)

In response to this, the reporter began discovering the situation in the park about which the reporter was tipped off by Mr.A, for 2 weeks. And it came out to be a fact. There was chaos by the Hanganggongwon entrance, in Yeouido. Not only the bicycle, but also for us to walk was a mission on the bicycle road. There was a pedestrian way. Nevertheless, many didn't seem to care much but walked around pretty much everywhere. The number of street food vendors has increased compared to the early Covid 19 near the entrance. In former times, there used to be only 3~4 vendors, but now 10. Some vendors even went into the park.

Because of the food vendors on both sides of the bicycle road, people lining up to purchase the food added to the crowd. Smokes around the food cooking places were getting worse. Not aware of all these things, some riders would make a sudden stop in the middle of driving. Regardless of potential dangers, it wasn't easy to find park managers in the area. While the reporter, I, was visiting the place for coverage for two weeks, I couldn't see anyone relevant to managing the place by the entrance of the park.

Whereas, in Hanganggongwon in many areas, I have seen managers walking around the park a number of times to manage the place.

This is the Hanganggongwon entrance, by the bicycle road, where it became an issue with extreme crowds. (Photo : HueSoung Jun Reporter)

A bicycle accident can always lead to death. Referring to '2021 bicycle accident affairs' data from the Korean Road Traffic Authority announcement, there have been accidents every year; 4771 cases (injured 5041, dead 91) in 2018, 5633 cases (6020, 79) in 2019, 5667 cases (6150, 83) in 2020. Every year, people die because of accidents in Korea. In particular, accidents have been increasing on the bicycle road centering around Hangang. For this reason, I see that it is crucial to manage the park thoroughly from both citizens and the managing authority parties, especially for the illegal street food vendors. (Yeouido information center & Hangang project headquarter).

Regarding this issue, a Yeouido information center relevant person said during the Consumerwide interview, "Every day for 2 hours we check out the Yeouidodongwon area. During the nightshift, 4 people work, but the area is way too large. We are doing our maximum and will try to prevent any sort of accident in our sector. Street vendors are illegal. According to the Korean River Act and Preservation Bylaw, we fine those activities. Nevertheless, it had not been managed well enough."

Illegal street vendors by the entrance of Yeouido Hanganggongwon entrance. (Photo : HueSoung Jun Reporter)


Illegal street vendors went off to the pedestrian way. (Photo : HueSoung Jun Reporter)

In order to resolve chaos on the bicycle road located at the Yeouido Hanganggongwon entrance, managing illegal street vendors seems to be inevitable.

Just as I mentioned above, illegal vendors are increasing rapidly in the area recently. The issue lies in that the fine for illegal vendors is not more than 70 thousand won, which is quite a small amount of money compared with the income they get from the sales during the weekend. This won't stop them from selling the product. There have got to be better alternatives.

Besides, citizenship needs to grow mature. There are groups of people drinking at the Hanganggongwon in the evenings of Saturday and Sunday. And, among them, there are people walking freely on bicycle roads. It is not right to walk on the bicycle road whether you drink alcohol or not, just the same as on highways for vehicles. Because their actions can harm people around them. Including the MZ, if one sees higher values apart from those issues, they have to show in action what they believe is worthwhile.

However, bicycle riders are better to avoid bicycle road in the direction of the Hanganggongwon entrance, Yeouido. But take an alternative road to prevent accident. A Hangang Project Headquarter relevant person plead, "There is an alternative road which connects to a large river other than the one cross the entrance of the Yeouidogongwon. On the weekends, we ask you to use them if possible."


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