The road suddenly disappeared!


The road to the front door of a welfare town in Pyeongtaek, Gyeonggi-do suddenly disappeared.  The temporary road they had made while going on the city development project in the Sosa District 2 was already too dangerous for people to use, but now   they cut off the original pavement making a 90 degree angle here like a cliff and cars as well as people using this welfare town cannot get access to the town using the road.


There are six facilities in this Eastern Pyeongtaek Welfare Town, having various welfare facilities from Eastern Special School for handicapped students, Eastern Child Rehabilitation Center, Eastern Vocational Training Center, to  children protection center and a Job Opportunity Center for senior citizens. There are over 1,000 people and 300 vehicles coming to and going from this town including the school bus for students with disabilities.

Even though it is mandatory that the road for the handicapped, children, and old people be secured for their safety, they are deprived of the main accessing road they had been using daily.  The other road at the back of the town is too narrow and in a poor condition to be used by the bus. Now those people in need have to take a much longer detour and that is even more dangerous and difficult during commuting time for students who go to the Special School for the physically challenged students. 

Even after the news report, the construction union is forcefully pushing ahead with the development project ignoring the administrative order issued by the Pyeongtaek City to halt all construction and repair the road.

* Maximum slope for ramps used by those people should not exceed 8 degree angle according to the Act on Guarantee of Promotion of Convenience of Persons with Disabilities, the Aged, Pregnant Women, etc. 


It would be very grateful for you to encourage our marginalized neighbors who are using Eastern Pyeongtaek Welfare Town. We ask for your continuous support and consideration so we can guarantee their right to be happy and safe.




[앵커] [Anchor]

경기도 평택에 있는 한 복지타운의 정문으로 들어가는 길이 갑자기 사라졌습니다. 도시개발 공사를 해야 하니까 거기 말고 다른 길로 돌아서 가라고 간단하게 말할 수 있지만, 복지타운에 모여 사는 장애인들이나 노약자, 아이들에겐 결코 간단한 일이 아닙니다.

The access road to Eastern Pyeongtaek Welfare Town, Gyeonggi-do has disappeared all of a sudden due to the construction under development project of the Pyeongtaek city. It is easy to say that people could simply take a detour, but that is much more difficult for people with disabilities, seniors, and children who are the main inhabitants of the welfare town.


밀착카메라 이선화 기자입니다.

This is the reporter of in-depth camera coverage, Sun-hwa Lee.


[기자] [Reporter]

경기 평택에 있는 동방복지타운입니다.

This is Eastern Pyeongtaek Welfare Town in Pyeongtaek, Gyeonggi-do.

지난 1985년 생긴 곳으로 우리나라 최초의 종합복지타운인데요.

It is Korea’s first social welfare community town founded in 1985.

이곳에는 주로 장애인이나 노약자, 아동들이 살고 있습니다.

People with disabilities, seniors, and children mainly live in the welfare houses.

그런데 이 타운을 조금 높이 하늘에서 내려다보면, 마치 섬처럼 갇혀있는 모습입니다.

Viewed from high up in the sky, this community now seems like an island.

특수학교, 아동보호전문기관, 노인일자리수행기관 등 6개 시설이 모여있습니다.

From specialized school for handicapped students, child protection facilities, to senior job opportunity center, there are six facilities in this welfare community.

매일 1000여 명의 이용자들과 300여 대의 차량이 오갑니다.

Every day, a thousand people and three-hundred cars come and go.


그런데 최근 이 타운으로 들어오는 주 출입로가 사라졌습니다.

However, the main entrance to this welfare community has recently disappeared.

소사2지구 도시개발사업이 진행되면서입니다.

because of city development project in the Sosa District 2.

이곳이 복지타운으로 들어가는 정문입니다.

This is the main entrance to the welfare community.

여기 보시면 경비초소도 있고요.

As you can see, there is a security post as well.

지금은 이렇게 문이 활짝 열려있지만, 나오자마자 바로 길이 막혀버립니다.

Although the gates are wide open right now, the access road is blocked as soon as you walk past the gates.

이 너머는 공사 현장이라서 사실상 출입로가 폐쇄된 상태고요.

The entrance is practically closed because there are construction sites over this area.


지금 남아있는 이 공간은 교회로 가는 길이 전부입니다.

The only space that remains of this road is the way to the church(Dong Gwang Church).

철거 공사는 지난 12일, 통학버스가 학생들을 태우고 학교를 떠난 직후 이뤄졌습니다.

Tearing down of this road sneakily began on 12th last month, as soon as the school bus left school with the students.

정문 앞쪽으로는 상가 건물이 들어설 예정인데, 도로를 정비한다는 이유에서입니다.

They say that it was an inevitable construction because a store building is to be built in front of the main gate and maintenance of the road is needed.

[김현주/사회복지사 : 기존 도로면이나 이걸 다 깎아 놓다 보니까 저희가 공중에 산성처럼 서 있는 형국이 된 거고요. 여기도 90도처럼 절벽으로 만들어 놓는 거예요.] [Hyeon-ju Kim/social worker: We are like a castle in the sky because they cut off the original pavement. They made a 90 degree angle here as well, like a cliff.]

이용자들은 당황스러워합니다.

The users are disconcerted.

[학부모 : 우리 아이 같은 경우는 자폐아예요. 장애 3급인데, 이런 아이들은 반복훈련에 의해 항상 익숙해진 길만 원해요. 갑자기 길이 막 여기저기 그렇게 되니까 우리 아이가 당황하는 거예요. 가슴 아프죠. 왜냐면 말 못 하잖아요.] [A parent of student who goes to this school: My child has autism, and has a third-degree disability. These children prefer familiar roads that they have gotten used to through repeated training. My child is flustered because the roads have changed here and there. It breaks my heart — because most of students here cannot speak and express what they feel.]


일부 봉사자들은 위험을 무릅쓴 채 공사장으로 다니기도 합니다.

Some volunteers cut through the construction sites despite its dangers.

개발을 시행하는 조합 측에선 복지타운 후문에 임시 도로를 내줬습니다.

The union in charge of construction has laid down a temporary road to the back entrance of this town.

하지만 후문은 비상시에만 쓰는 문인 데다, 공사현장과 맞닿아 있어 내부 보안과 안전 문제로 이어질 수 있습니다.

However, the back entrance is only used for emergencies, and it can lead to security and safety issues because it is adjacent to the construction site.


또 통학차량의 진입도 불가능합니다.

Furthermore, the school bus cannot enter this town.

특수학교에 다니는 학생들이 등교를 하는 아침 시간입니다.

It is morning time when students of this specialized school come to class.

원래대로라면 건물 뒤편에 있는 입구 내려다 줘야 하는데 지금은 그러지 못하고 있습니다.

Normally, the school bus would have dropped them off at the entrance behind the building, but they currently cannot do so.


보다시피 통학버스가 구름다리를 통과하지 못하고 있기 때문입니다.

Because the school bus cannot pass through the pedestrian overpass.


통학버스만의 문제가 아닙니다.

It is not just a problem of commuting bus.

이곳엔 중증 장애인들이 근무하는 직업재활시설이 있습니다.

There is a job rehabilitation facility here at which people with severe disabilities work.

이곳에서 사용하는 물품을 운반하는 화물차량들이 수시로 오가는데, 역시 출입이 어려워졌습니다.

There is frequent traffic of cargo vehicles that transport materials used in the facility for the people with disabilities to work with, but these vehicles are having difficulty in both entering and exiting this facility.


[납품업체 기사 : 처음 오신 분들은 아마 여기 못 찾을 거예요. 중간에 다리가 있어서 큰 차는 거기를 또 못 지나가요, 굉장한 어려움이 있죠.] [The truck driver of supplies: People coming here for the first time probably won’t be able to find this place anymore. Besides, a bridge in the middle keeps heavy vehicles from causing a lot of inconvenience.]

화재나 응급 상황에서 대응도 문제입니다.

There are problems in responses to fires and emergencies as well.

이곳에 살고 있는 장애인과 아동들이 있는 만큼 소방도로 확보가 중요한데 현재로서는 들어올 길이 없습니다.

Because children and people with disabilities live in houses in this town, reserving roads for emergency vehicles are essential. However, there is no way for them to enter this facility as of now.


[유순자/아동보호시설 원장 : 매일 병원을 다녀야 하는 상황인데 차량이 출입이 안 되기 때문에 어린 영유아들이 걸어 나가야 하는 상황이고. 구급차나 소방차가 들어올 수 있는 진출입로가 전혀 확보되지 않은 상황에서 정문이 폐쇄된 상황이거든요.] [Soon-ja Yu/Director of Children Protection Center: Even though they have to go to the hospital every day, children have no choice but to walk out because no vehicles can enter now. Also, the main gate has been shut without the acquisition of a way for ambulances or fire trucks.]


평택시는 지난 금요일 조합 측에 도로를 원상복구하거나 대안을 마련할 때까지 공사 중지 명령을 내렸습니다.

Last Friday, Pyeongtaek city has ordered the union of construction to halt all construction until the roads are repaired or an alternative plan is proposed.

하지만 조합 측은 이미 복지타운 측에 공사를 진행하겠다고 공문을 보낸 만큼 문제가 없다고 말합니다.

However, the union argues that there is no problem as the Pyeongtaek Town was already notified of the construction.

[조합장 : 수차 공문을 저희가 이런 식으로 많이 보냈습니다. 제안을 해달라. 안 하면 언제까지 도로를 끊겠다.] [Union representative: We have sent these official notes asking for alternatives multiple times and we will have to cut the road unless they have any other options.]

또 새로운 진출입로를 만들어주겠다고 했지만, 복지타운 측이 받아들이지 않아 어쩔 수 없었다고 주장하고 있습니다.

Furthermore, they say that this situation was inevitable since they had already proposed the construction of a new entry road but the proposal was turned down by the town.

[A씨/조합원 : 오늘이라도 하면 바로 공사가 가능해요. 차량 올라가는 데는 아무 문제가 없어요, 법적으로.] [A /union member: The construction can begin immediately today. In legal terms, there are no issues with vehicles going up there.]


[B씨/조합원 : 도시 개발하기 전에 동방이 다니던 차로는 진짜 엉망이었어요. 훨씬 좋아지는 거예요, 지금 현재로만 따지면.] 하지만 복지타운은 조합이 제시한 도로가 휠체어 등이 이용하기엔 경사가 심하다고 말합니다.


[B /union member: The poor road condition that ESWS used will get much better after this construction.], which is totally opposite argument of the welfare town that the road proposed by the union is too steep for wheelchairs to access them.

장애인 편의증진 법률에 따라 진출입로 기울기는 8도를 초과할 수 없는데, 이를 위반한다는 겁니다.

According to Act on Guarantee of Promotion of Convenience of Persons with Disabilities, entrances of such facility cannot be steeper than 8 degrees, but the proposed road goes against this law.

평택시는 사인 간의 문제라는 입장입니다.

The City of Pyeongtaek considers this as only a conflict between private parties.

[평택시청 : 저희가 강제로 할 수 있는 부분은 없고요. 저희는 지원팀이고요. 당사자는 동방 거기하고 시행자가 소사2지구 조합이거든요.] [Pyeongtaek City Office: There is nothing we can forcefully do as we are in a support team of the city and the parties in this conflict are the Eastern Social Welfare Society and the Sosa District 2 Union.]

하지만 평택시는 2010년 복지타운을 사회복지시설 용도지구로 지정했습니다.

However, this position is hard to understand as the City of Pyeongtaek had designated Eastern Pyeongtaek Welfare Town as a welfare facility district in 2010.

도시개발을 해도 복지타운을 유지하고, 배려해 개발하란 취지였습니다.

Which means protecting this area should be taken into consideration even if the city plans for this area to be developed.

장애인이나 노인과 같은 약자에게 이동권은 교통 문제가 아닌 생존이 달린 문제입니다.

For the weak like the disabled and the aged, the right to move is not just about transportation, but is a matter of life and death.

개발 논리에 밀려난 이곳 학생들은 오늘도 불편함을 감수하고 멀어진 집으로 돌아가야 합니다.

Students have to bear the inconvenience of taking the long and tough way home because of interest of people pursuing development rather than considering safety of these people in need.

(VJ : 박선권 / 인턴기자 : 정유선)

(VJ: Sun-kwon Park / intern journalist: Yu-sun Jeong)


* The Eastern Pyeongtaek Welfare Town, dedicated to providing welfare services for single mothers, children in need, intellectually disabled children and youth, was established in 1985 by Dr. Kim Deuk-hwang, who is founder of Eastern Social Welfare Society, Inc. We various facilities in the town including Jacob’s Home, Eastern Special School, Eastern Child Rehabilitation Center, Eastern Vocational Training Center, and children protection center, Southern Gyeonggi-do Children’s Home.