Saturday, June 16, 2007
Bicycles Barred from Rainbow Bridge
A colleague yesterday alerted me to the fact that the Tokyo Port authority has barred people cycling across Rainbow Bridge, Tokyo's biggest bridge which connects the Odaiba area to Tokyo. This was surprising to me as I have ridden over the bridge in the past. In fact I remember it distinctly, because I was so disappointed by the pathetic slapped on afterthought of a footbridge on this magnificent bridge. What's more, it is placed right next to the car lanes - stink and noise for the entire 1km walk across.
There are two levels on the bridge, one is a highway, and the lower level is shared by a monorail, another four or six lanes for cars, and some piddley little space for pedestrians and cyclists along the edge - so we have to put up with the stink and noise of traffic the whole way across - that is unless you want to drive, in which case you are treated like royalty.
It could have been so much better - so simple for the bridge architects to design a wider, straighter, separate lane for bicycles and pedestrians somewhere where they could be protected from the elements as well as being spared from the noise and stink of traffic.
But not satisfied with subjecting non-drivers to this humiliation, the authority has now decided to go a further step and ban bicycles altogether. This is the notice on their website: http://www.kouwan.metro.tokyo.jp/english/odaiba/eng/access/walk.html
This comes at a time when other cities around the world are spending millions refurbishing their major bridges to fill this forgotten gap and cater to bicycles and pedestrians.
So if you are in Japan and reading this blog, now is your chance to contact the ports authority and give them a piece of your mind. Contact details here:
And just remember - a folding bike and cover will get you past the gate no problem ;-)
at 11:06 PM