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Everything You Need to Know About Ulsan

Right Side Walking

Although Korea has been driving on the right side for a long time, they have walked on the left until recently. According to the Korea Times, The National Police has begun changing signs and encouraging citizens to walk on the right. There are new signs directing pedestrian traffic around Munsu Stadium.

Therefore, Korea is in what I like to call the “transition stage.”

Some people haven’t gotten the memo about right side walking, some people don’t care, and many probably haven’t given it much thought. In the US, even though we have walked on the right side for ages, people still like to switch it up and walk into oncoming pedestrian traffic.
The change is a product of many factors. Walking on the left side is one of the many things mandated by the Japanese government during their occupation of Korea. Right side walking is another way to distance Korea from that time period. Another reason attributed to the change is that supposedly 88.3% of Korean citizens are right-handed and find right side walking more comfortable. Also studies show that right side walking increases speed 1.2 -1.7 fold (however this seems subjective). Seoul is changing not only their signage but also the direction of escalators and moving airport walkways.

(one wonders if this might be why I get bumped a lot when walking. – Ed.)