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Rules are made to be broken


Bicycles are parked, despite a notice from police saying it is not allowed, on a sidewalk in Akabane in Tokyo's Kita Ward.

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You know, I understand the irritation, but there are just too few places to park bicycles in Tokyo. This is a mode of transport that the govt. should be encouraging as it is totally green and healthy as well. However, everywhere you go, all you see/hear is "not here."

I know that near most stations there are bike garrages, and when I commute out of my train station I do use them. It would be rude to dump one's bike all day on the street like that. But What about a quick stop to shop or eat? Do the rule-makers really think it's reasonable to have to hump ones bike into (and out of) the basement as well as to have to pay for the priviledge of doing so? I don't so when I go shopping, I don't use them.

If the govt, really wants to get a handle on this, it would spend some of its seemingly limitless capital works budget not on dams, but on large, convient, parking sturctures near the high-traffic areas with grace periods of about 4 hours before fee charges apply. THEN they can start to complain about bikes on the streets.

30 ( +34 / -4 )

The Japanese response to bicycle crowding is infuriating. Instead of marking more spaces for bicycle parking, the authorities just fence off ever more space, making it useless for anyone. So where the h*ll are people supposed to put their biccyles?

15 ( +17 / -2 )

My small town's exactly the same: bikes all over the place around the station, despite the signs.

I don't see a problem, really, as long as people respect the yellow lines for partially-sighted folk, then who loses? Sure, it looks untidy, but that's humans for you....

5 ( +6 / -1 )

The bike "no parking" zones are good for one thing, disposing of your unwanted bikes. Instead of paying to have them recycled, just remove the ID number, park, and walk away.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

This scene repeats at nearly every station across the country, except for the few that have retirees volunteering to keep the footpaths free from bicycles. Sadly, there are too few parking spaces for bicycles

4 ( +5 / -1 )

This morning at the front steps of my local train station you could not enter or exit for the illegally parked bikes. I say no warnings, since the warning is in the sign -- take them away immediately and a 10,000 yen fine to get them back on first infringement.

-7 ( +7 / -14 )


Your average mamachari is about ¥8000 these days. No-one's going to pay ¥10000 to get one of those back.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

This annoys me as well. The pavement is blocked by cones, barriers and signs instead of being blocked by bikes. So the pavement is still blocked but people have nowhere to leave their bikes. Or worse, the signs are ignored and people park their bikes in front of them, meaning the pavement is even more blocked than it otherwise would have been.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

rules are so supposed to be broken. So are promises.. one must wonder aloud, when a fellow human being laments of the societies, ill will.. yet in truth, its a matter of conscience more then anything else..

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It is said that Japan's literacy rate is 100%. But when people ignore what is written in front of them, I think Japan's "understanding" of its literacy stuff is closer to 40%-50%. Cyclists park their bikes wherever they want to, smokers stand on top of "no smoking" signs in downtown Tokyo ignoring what is written beneath them, and so on ... So it goes ...

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Recently there are a lot of bicycle parking areas that you pay for. You park your front wheel in the slot and a metal piece locks it into place. You pay at a machine by entering the number of your parking space, and you can pay by SUICA or PASMO if you like. Minami-Senju is a good example of this. On the south side there are hundreds, if not thousands of parking spaces. They usually range from 6 to 10 hours for 100 yen.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Your average mamachari is about ¥8000 these days. No-one's going to pay ¥10000 to get one of those back.

Yup, been there, done that quite a few times.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Rules are made to be broken if they are stupid. The bike garages which cost 2-3000 yen a month are crazy (you could buy a new bike every few months). They are run by retired policemen (amakudari) who get a substantial wage. The bike garages should be free in the first place and it probably could be if they didn't insist on hiring companies to move bikes.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

Like MrKobayashi said, some stations have a pay parking area that is only 100 yen for the first few hours, which is quite reasonable. Unfortunately my station does not have that, either pay 2,000 yen for a month or get your bike tagged or taken away in which case you have to pay 2,000 yen to get it back. Used to be you could park near the station for a few hours with no problem, now they've got ugly cones and ropes where the bikes used to be parked. Idiots.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Cyclists have made a great contribution in terms of reducing pollution and traffic congestion. Its time the authorities should amend their rules and designate areas for bicycle parking.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

If the owners can be traced (bikes have to be registered), then fine them. I'm so sick of these abandoned bikes taking up space in parking areas. Half the bikes at my apartment were abandoned and nobody did anything. I had to put them to the side to make space. And half the bikes at my workplace were obviously abandoned - still no-one doing anything. Just get rid of them.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

While I agree that bike parking spots are an issue, those all need to be taken away. This is the issue with laws here - they are broken all the time nothing is done.

And yes, more bike parking is needed - free bike parking. My old station wanted to charge 150 yen to park a bike. That is insane. FREE bike parking and encourage people to use them. Add in some bike paths and let's deal with the pollution issues, no?

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

As has been said, there needs to be free bicycle parking in established areas. That, or a system like in Takamatsu City in Shikoku, where you can rent a bike for dirt cheap and leave it any another station's return point.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

If there were more common sense, people wouldn't "overpark" the bicycles right near the station. I think there should be reasonable amounts of parking for cyclists (for many of the reasons above) . The "no cycle parking" zone should be smaller one -- say up to about 100m from the station. After that people could park without blocking the pavement (sidewalk).

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Graham DeShazoMay. 06, 2013 - 02:19PM JST You know, I understand the irritation, but there are just too few places to park bicycles in Tokyo.

You know, I understand the irritation, but there are just too few place to park cars in Tokyo. You know, I understand the irritation, but there are just too few place to smoke cigarettes in Tokyo.

... see how lame this excuse seems when the sentence is changed to fit someone else? The simple fact is that they've tried making bicycle parking lots in Tokyo. I saw an electric one where the bikes were hung up on racks and the racks rotated up to allow space for the next set of bikes... but it was empty and a dozen meters away from it a whole lot of bikes were parked illegally around the side of a convenience store (and no, they weren't customers, because I visited the combini and I was the only customer in there).

If you want bicycle parking areas then PAY like everyone else. Car owners pay, motorbike owners pay. Bicycle owners need to get over their massive sense of entitlement.

-9 ( +0 / -9 )


It is said that Japan's literacy rate is 100%.

You are right. It is said. This amazing fiction was started, as far as I know, by the Ministry of Education.

It's either PR or just inability to do basic arithmetic.

It couldn't possibly be 100%.

And I've met many Japanese High School Grads who couldn't read a newspaper in their own language.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Graham nailed it. I have just moved to the US and I rarely see a bicycle. I miss cycling and my beloved mama-chari! The Japanese authorities have no idea how good they have it and cycling should be encouraged and used to market Tokyo as a "green" city. Yet another wasted opportunity.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Agree with the majority of the posters, that there is just not enough free bike parking in the cities. Free OR unpaid.

Instead of the damn plastic cones, why not make the area a bike parking area, and employ a couple of old guys to keep it looking nice and neat and tidy, and help people with their bikes?

I particularly hate the "bike collection people" who come and take them away... but did you know the bikes which don't get reclaimed by people get bought at action and then resold again, often at full value?! Its shocking...

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Why do the authorities have a problem with bicycles? Simple:

1) They're not made in Japan.

2) One more bike rider means one less bus or train passenger.

3) One satisfied cyclist means one less possible Toyota, Nissan, or Mitsubishi owner.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I would have thought that the voting public should be the ones to decide on if and where bikes can be parked not the bureaucrats being chauferred around in their luxury cars (thanks to taxpayer money) who don`t have to worry about it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

it=the hassles of parking a bike.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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