14 Jan 2011

re: bicycle lanes

A blue bicycle lane heading toward Shinjuku Central Park. Photo in Shibuya-ku.
In recent post from Tokyo By Bike about bicycle lanes Bicycke lanes. Don't bring them to Japan. Byron Kidd lays out his argument against them. 
I'm comfortable cycling on the road, in traffic, riding at speed.  Others are more comfortable cycling at a more refined pace on the sidewalks.  That’s great, I appreciate the fact that as cyclists we're allowed to choose between the two.
The few bicycle lanes of this kind that exist are horrible. Proper bicycle lanes along some of the major roads would perhaps be good but this, no.

Interrupted by a bus stop.
One of the things Tokyo a comfortable city to bicycle in is the lack of street parking, it makes cycling safer. Adding a lane draws a line about were you are supposed to be, without a lane if is a question about interacting with traffic to pass around stopping taxi and delivery trucks. Not always easy but safe. With the line drawn suddenly you're supposed to stay there and you leave the "safety" of your own territory a cyclist to mix with cars. 
Impossibly slim bicycle lanes close to Sangenjaya. Just the curb and blue paint. More details here.


  1. Great post. I love how the 'designers' of the impossibly slim bicycle lanes near Sangenjaya seem to think that cycling in the gutter is safe. Half of the lane appears to be gutter. Its a prime example of why I think it should be up to individuals to decide where they feel safe cycling rather than have it dictated to them by people who think this kind of bicycle lane is safe and effective.

  2. It really is absurd. the street is just to slim.
    Google Streetview:

  3. This is a great post. I agree. It's wonderful riding in Tokyo as it is!
    Love Love
    Hello Sandwich

  4. Thanks. It's good to know I'm not crazy thinking about these things.