Drivers and transportation engineers alike need to realize that bicycles are neither pedestrians nor cars.
A recent opinion from nytimes commented rightly on several issues such as red lights here:
The comment about dealing with stopped cars is spot on. If I want to be considerate and ride in the left lane, I'm constantly forced to merge right each time I pass these stopped cars. The traffic to my right doesn't care, and more importantly doesn't even notice that I am approaching a stopped car and am about to need to get over into the next lane. If I ride defensively and just stay in the second lane, the cars get frustrated as they think I'm slowing them down. They don't notice that 5 seconds later they're going to hit their brakes at the light and I'm going to pass them, but that's another issue. The left lane of the road is not a parking lot, and despite the technical legality that might permit this, it is a dangerous activity and causes congestion.
Furthermore, if you drive a car in traffic in Tokyo on a daily basis as a commuter, you are pig. This city has so much public transit, unless you are driving a commercial vehicle, you really have no excuse.
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