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Japan to promote bike sharing for eco-friendly society

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There have been a few cities in Japan, like Matsuyama City, that have had bike sharing for quite a while. I'm not sure Tokyo or other big cities can pull it off, given how cars treat supposed bicycling lanes as parking lots. If they can do it, then awesome! But I really hope they start enforcing traffic laws (including bike laws) before then.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

the government also aims to construct bike lanes and parking facilities,

Where? In the sky?

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Good points above. I remember staying in Kichijoji and trying to get to the station. The roads were blocked, the sidewalks were blocked and cycles could not fit through the gaps.

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Yeah, bikes are fine, but pedestrians should always come first. I love walking. Cyclists scare me. I think the rules for cyclists need to be strengthened.

Back in Canada too, it seems most cyclists think the rules of the road don't apply to them. Running reds, zipping in and out of bike lanes, car lanes, onto sidewalks, they think it all belongs to them. And they get pissed off when car drivers can't see them. They don't give way to anybody. And on top of all of this, the local gov in Montreal thinks it's a good idea to relax cycling laws further, officially giving them the nod to run reds precisely because that's what they do anyway.

Cyclists in Japan are bad enough. The influx of a bunch of tourists on bikes can only make the situation worse.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Let me guess, in lieu of actual bike lanes, they will hire some attendants with lighted sticks to guide bike traffic. That will surely solve it all.

I used to think the roads in France were the most jumbled, ill-designed mess imaginable. That was until I came to Japan, where the definition of the word "road" is a stretch, to say the least.

As Disillusioned stated, there is simply no room.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

There is plenty of space for protected bike lanes - it’s just being occupied by car traffic right now.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I rented a bike from a government run place in Setagayu ku the last time I was in Tokyo. It took an inquisition from an old guy, in Japanese of course, and thirty minutes to get hold of a bike. If an app can do it in five minutes in ten different languages like the Chinese rental bikes in other countries, bring it on.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Before bike sharing how about sharing roads? Tokyo is very unfriendly toward cyclists.

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Since last year there are places around Kobe City where you can hire an electric bike. Very easy to use.

https://matcha-jp.com/en/3046

I remember when I lived in Amsterdam in the 1970's there was a free white bicycle scheme but failed in the end because of the stealing of parts, lack of repairs and too many ended up in the canals.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I thought it was a Free Bike...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Bike sharing programs are very popular in many US cities and in, according to what I've read, at least 50 other countries. They could certainly work in Japan but cycling culture here needs some serious reform before more cyclists, especially tourists unfamiliar with the roads, are added to the mix. Getting cyclists on the roads, where, yes, they are actually safer, and following the rules of the roads would be a good first start. Cars can cause a lot of damage to a cyclist but they have a vested interest in being somewhat predictable whilst on the road. Pedestrians on pavement, on the other hand, are very unpredictable; they stop suddenly, are talking to friends or on the phone and not paying attention to anything around them, are coming into and going out of shops without looking at what's around them and so on.

I've spent over 20 years cycling in Tokyo and feel far more comfortable doing so on the road rather than on the pavement. I wear a reflective vest in all seasons and even in the day because the color of the vest is so bright, cycle on the same side as cars, stop where I'm supposed to, use signals to indicate where I'm headed and ride assuming cars are actively trying to hit me. It might sound paranoid but it's kept me quite safe all this time.

https://www.planetizen.com/node/84910/bicyclists-sidewalks-why-theyre-not-going-away-and-what-we-can-do-about-it

https://usa.streetsblog.org/2015/01/09/study-what-puts-cyclists-at-greatest-risk-its-not-what-you-wear/

http://theconversation.com/bike-share-companies-are-transforming-us-cities-and-theyre-just-getting-started-95267

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The bike lanes in my part of Tokyo are unusable because trucks constantly use them as parking spaces, including morons who keep their huge engines running while asleep. I spotted another driver-idiot who was using a bike lane to stretch out and dry a tarp in the sun. Pedestrians also wander freely into the bike lanes, despite the presence of a wide sidewalk, forcing cyclists -- onto the sidewalk. Unbelievable.

The cops and traffic wardens walk right past, like it's all normal, and the only people they stop are people on cheap shopping bikes to check the bikes' registratoin. TIJ.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It depends very much on the characteristics of each city.

Some like Kyoto have flat and relatively wide streets with few hills. Zichi's Kobe is great going east or west, but the whole city is on a steep slope, so crossing the city, ie heading north away from the sea and towards the mountains is not sensible for anyone but the super-fit. Electric bikes sounds like a good solution there. Tokyo is a dangerous obstacle course and needs some serious one-way sytems or resdesigning or something to unblock the roads in the rush hours, as JeffLee says above.

It's horses for courses, er, no one size fits all.

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