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OKIsItJustMe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 02:02 PM
Original message
guardian.co.uk: London trial to allow cyclists to pedal the 'wrong' way on one-way streets
http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/sep/17/bike-...

London trial to allow cyclists to pedal the 'wrong' way on one-way streets

Kensington & Chelsea's pilot contra-flow cycling scheme should reduce journey times and make it safer for cyclists without breaking the law

Peter Walker
guardian.co.uk, Thursday 17 September 2009 15.52 BST

Cabbie: "Oi! That's a one-way street. Don't you cyclists know the law?"

Cyclist: "I think you'll find this street is a contraflow cycling system. I'm taking part in a pilot scheme."

Cabbie: "My apologies. I stand corrected."

While you're unlikely to hear that exact conversation anytime soon particularly without any swearing there is a potentially significant change coming in the law that considers cyclists.

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GliderGuider Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 02:04 PM
Response to Original message
1. Must be a new population control measure... /nt
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phantom power Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 02:06 PM
Response to Original message
2. If those statistics you posted previously are any indication...
contra-flow cycling would result in an increase of bad cycling accidents. Cycling against traffic was the single highest risk-factor identified in that study, by a pretty wide margin.
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OKIsItJustMe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 02:08 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. It should be interesting
Well, that didnt work
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pscot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 02:31 PM
Response to Reply #2
5. That's one way of getting those two-wheeled pests
off the road. Happy motoring.
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kristopher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 02:11 PM
Response to Original message
4. Japan has no such traffic flow control for bicycles
And I don't think they have a problem with accidents. The real problem IMO is that auto drivers MUST learn that bicycles are a large part of their operating environment. Traffic flow control for bicycles (again IMO) are just a mechanism to minimize the effects of this lack of awareness on the part of drivers in countries where bicycle traffic is comparatively low.

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OKIsItJustMe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 08:49 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. FWIW
http://www.treehugger.com/files/2009/07/japan-traffic-f...

Japan: Bicycle Fatalities Increase, Car Fatalities At Record Low

by greenz.jp, Tokyo, Japan on 07.23.09

New data from the National Police Agency show that car-related fatalities are decreasing dramatically in Japan, while bicycle accidents are on the increase: The number of people who died while riding a bicycle increased by 5 percent to 310.

Fewer traffic fatalities have been reported in other countries too, linked to higher gas prices, such as the United States. But Japan's record drop is remarkable. The National Police Agency says the number of traffic deaths from January to June this year was only 2,200. This marks the 9th straight year of decline, and a more than 70 percent drop from the peak figure of 7,735 deaths in 1970.

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kristopher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 09:02 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. Considering the amount of bicycle miles/capita
I'd think that tends to confirm my observations. The website quoted below gives US deaths in 1999 (pre gas price inflation) as 750 and further down (not quoted) it shows a decline by 2002 to 660 deaths. Considering that most people in Japan ride a bicycle in traffic daily, I don't think there can be much doubt that it is safer there. I included some other information for reference.

The Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center
Funded by the US Department of Transportation, this program of the University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Center in cooperation with the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals says:

In 1999, there were 750 bicycling fatalities and 51,000 bicycling injuries resulting from traffic crashes in the United States. While these numbers continue to decrease from year to year, bicyclist fatalities still account for 2 percent of all traffic fatalities as well as 2 percent of all traffic injuries.

They summarize their findings on this page, and have a nice table of accident types and their relative frequency.

Their summary of crash causes
Here is a summary of what is illustrated on this page:

* When the motorist and bicyclist were on initial parallel paths, either in the same direction or opposing directions, the three most frequent categories of crashes were:
o Motorist turning or merging into the path of a bicyclist (12.1 percent of all crashes). Almost half (48.8 percent) of these crashes involved a motorist making a left turn in front of a bicyclist approaching from the opposite direction.
o Motorist overtaking a bicyclist (8.6 percent of all crashes). Of these crashes, 23 percent appeared to involve a motorist who misjudged the space required to safely pass the bicyclist.
o Bicyclist turning or merging into the path of a motorist (7.3 percent of all crashes). Within this category, 60 percent involved a bicyclist making a left turn in front of a motorist traveling in the same direction.

* When the motorist and bicyclist were on initial crossing paths, the three most frequent categories of crashes were:
o Motorist failed to yield right-of-way at a junction (21.7 percent of all crashes). Of these crashes, more than a third (37.3 percent) involved a motorist violating the sign or signal and drove into the crosswalk or intersection and struck the bicyclist.
o Bicyclist failed to yield right-of-way at an intersection (16.8 percent of all crashes). Within this category, 38 percent involved a bicyclist who had stopped for a sign or flashing signal and then drove into the intersection and was struck by the motor vehicle.
o Bicyclist failed to yield right-of-way at a midblock location (11.7 percent of all crashes). Almost half of these crashes (43.4 percent) involved a bicyclist riding out into the roadway from a residential driveway.


http://www.massbike.org/info/statistics.htm

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OKIsItJustMe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 09:15 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. Here's an interesting article
Edited on Thu Sep-17-09 09:36 PM by OKIsItJustMe
http://www.tokyobybike.com/2009/02/of-bicycle-laws-in-j...


OK, the truth of the matter is that a whole complicated mess of cycling laws do in fact exist, but they are loosely enforced. So loosely that almost the entire cycling population is completely confused as to what is a law, what is common sense and what is pure myth or urban legend. For example:

Riding a bicycle under the influence of alcohol could earn you up to five years imprisonment or a fine of up to 1 million Yen. Unless you cause a serious accident and injure someone other than yourself the usual police response is to turn a blind eye to the merely tipsy cyclist. If the cyclist is is over the limit on the policeman's internal 'tipsy-o-meter' then they'll be trundled to the koban till they sober up, then sent on their way after a stern talking to. Problem being that each policeman's internal 'tipsy-o-meters' is calibrated differently.

Riding at night without a headlamp, using an umbrella, cell phone or iPod won't get you jailed but could cost you up to 50,000 Yen. The only rule I've seen enforced with at least some consistency is riding at night without a headlamp, but rather than a 50,000 Yen fine it usually results in a short exchange in which the police officer informs you that you shouldn't ride at night without a light, then you both go your separate ways. Riding while talking on the phone may, to a lesser degree, get you the same treatment.

As for umbrellas, and iPods, once again, unless you cause an accident (injuring someone other than yourself) no policeman is going to tell you to stop using a perfectly good umbrella and ride till you're soaked nor can they be bothered catching up with you to ask you to remove your earphones. (They have to catch up because calling to a person listening to their iPod doesn't yield any response.)



So, like the US of A, Japan has similar bicycle laws, and (in some cases) they may be enforced more than the corresponding US laws. For example, although, by law, bicyclists in NYS must have lights at night, I've never personally seen it enforced. Instead (in my experience) the law is generally flouted.
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kristopher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 09:40 PM
Response to Reply #8
11. You omitted the most important point
The very first thing at the website, in BIG BOLD LETTERS:

Of Bicycle Laws in Japan and other Mythical Beasts

Quite often, as the resident cycling nutjob, I'm asked about bicycle laws in Japan. More often than not this question comes from a foreigner, because as far as Japanese people are concerned there are no bicycle laws in Japan, beyond "Don't have an accident" and unfortunately even that rule is not often adhered to.
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OKIsItJustMe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 09:48 PM
Response to Reply #11
14. Of Bicycle Laws in Japan and other Mythical Beasts
Edited on Thu Sep-17-09 09:48 PM by OKIsItJustMe
This implies that there are no laws. However, clearly this is not the case, as the author goes on to list a number, which I quoted. His point is not that they do not exist, but that they are not stringently/uniformly enforced.

In general, I believe the key rule to safe bicycling is to behave in a predictable manner. Or, as I often put it, Dont surprise anyone.
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kristopher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 09:54 PM
Response to Reply #14
16. And the original point STILL stands
Japan has no traffic flow control for bicycles and they have FAR FAR LOWER RATE OF ACCIDENTS THAN THE US. The reason is that bicycles are an integral part of the road environment, not an afterthought that intrudes on the prerogatives of automobiles.

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OKIsItJustMe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 10:00 PM
Response to Reply #16
18. Repeating a false statement does not make it true
Edited on Thu Sep-17-09 10:01 PM by OKIsItJustMe
http://www.japancycling.org/v2/info/biking.shtml
The Law
  • Bicycles, as do all other road vehicles, travel on the left-hand side of a carriageway (Shadou, 車道) in Japan.
  • It is not allowed to ride bicycles on the sidewalk (Hodou, 歩道). But some sidewalks are assigned by the National Police Agency to also allow bicycles. A sign will indicate cyclists can mix with pedestrians.
  • If there is the sign on the right, you can ride on both sidewalk and carriage way.

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kristopher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 10:03 PM
Response to Reply #18
19. Neither does talking out of your ass.
The website you are quoting equates these laws with mythology and clearly states the only hint of a law being used is when a cop reminds a drunk salaryman to turn on his light.

You are going further and further off the rails, dude.
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OKIsItJustMe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 10:06 PM
Response to Reply #19
20. Please check postings 9 and 10 below, taken from the same web site
Have fun.
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kristopher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 10:07 PM
Response to Reply #20
21. You are still talking out of your ass.
Edited on Thu Sep-17-09 10:08 PM by kristopher
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OKIsItJustMe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 09:20 PM
Response to Reply #7
9. Here's another interesting one
http://www.tokyobybike.com/2009/08/bicycle-registration...
August 03, 2009

Bicycle registration check nabs convenience store thief


An 18 year old man was arrested on Saturday, accused of robbing a Familymart convenience store of 40,000 yen. The suspect is accused of entering the convenience store around 4:30am and demanding cash after threatening the employee on duty with a knife.

Two police officers who happened to be passing when the youth came out of the store gave chase when he took off on his bicycle. After giving chase the police eventually lost the suspect, but later found a bicycle resembling the suspects parked outside an apartment building.

The police confirmed the bicycle registration and the youth admitted to the robbery after being questioned by police.

Good to see a bicycle registration check resulting in the arrest of a criminal rather than being just another random annoyance for law abiding citizens.


"Bicycle registration checks!" Sounds like the Japanese really treat bicycles as vehicles.
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OKIsItJustMe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 09:24 PM
Response to Reply #7
10. Japanese police get tough on law breaking cyclist.
http://www.tokyobybike.com/2009/07/japanese-police-get-...
July 27, 2009

Japanese police get tough on law breaking cyclist.

This morning the police upped the ante on red light running cyclists. Beware, they're getting tough, you may never want to risk running a red light again after reading what follows.

While waiting at a red light an intersection with a koban on the corner a fellow cycling in his office kit passed me on the inside and proceeded to cross the intersection against the light. In response to this one of the police officers in the koban leaned out the door, put a whistle to his lips and blew it sharply three times "Pi! Pi! Pi!". It was a tense and confrontational moment in Japanese law enforcement.

The cyclist continued on his merry way oblivious that the whistle had even been blown. If he did happen to hear it over the background noise he would have no idea it was directed at him as he was already a good 15 meters past the koban.

Cyclists be warned, this is an intersection at which I have regularly gone against the red light without consequence, but no more! Ignore this red light at your peril because there is a hard ass cop at the koban looking to correct your misbehaving ways, he's armed with a whistle and he's not afraid to use it.
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OKIsItJustMe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 09:44 PM
Response to Reply #7
12. "Drivers tend to be careless when cyclists approach the wrong way"
http://www.japancycling.org/v2/info/biking.shtml


Almost all of Japanese one-way roads allow cyclists to legally ride along them the wrong way. But this causes confusion and accidents. Drivers tend to be careless when cyclists approach the wrong way or when they open their car doors.

Many of my friends have been involved in accidents when they rode the wrong way. If you do so, assume that drivers will not see you and ride slower.

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kristopher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 09:46 PM
Response to Reply #12
13. Anecdotal information that my experience contradicts.
Are you having fun?
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OKIsItJustMe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 09:49 PM
Response to Reply #13
15. My experience (although not in Japan) confirms this
Edited on Thu Sep-17-09 09:50 PM by OKIsItJustMe
Behave in a predictable manner. (Whether in Japan or the US of A.)

Your statement was "Japan has no such traffic flow control for bicycles." This appears not to be the case.
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kristopher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 09:56 PM
Response to Reply #15
17. IT is the case
and your website confirms it in both the TITLE and the opening sentence. Your hairsplitting is nothing but ignorance manifesting as a grudge.
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OKIsItJustMe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 10:32 PM
Response to Reply #17
22. Interesting
Believe that if it makes you feel better.

You've made completely baseless claims:
4. Japan has no such traffic flow control for bicycles
And I don't think they have a problem with accidents. The real problem IMO is that auto drivers MUST learn that bicycles are a large part of their operating environment. Traffic flow control for bicycles (again IMO) are just a mechanism to minimize the effects of this lack of awareness on the part of drivers in countries where bicycle traffic is comparatively low.


They do have traffic flow control (as I've cited.)

7. Considering the amount of bicycle miles/capita
I'd think that tends to confirm my observations. The website quoted below gives US deaths in 1999 (pre gas price inflation) as 750 and further down (not quoted) it shows a decline by 2002 to 660 deaths. Considering that most people in Japan ride a bicycle in traffic daily, I don't think there can be much doubt that it is safer there. I included some other information for reference.


Japan has more bicycle deaths than any other country in the IRTAD database:
http://www.internationaltransportforum.org/irtad/pdf/ro...
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kristopher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 10:53 PM
Response to Reply #22
23. Are you becoming less honest
Edited on Thu Sep-17-09 10:57 PM by kristopher
Or is it a case of deteriorating mental faculties?

You know perfectly well that number does not represent deaths by bicycle miles/capita. The US has 300M people and very few of them ride bicycles, even for recreation. Japan has 160M people and riding a bicycle for basic transportation is a daily part of life for everyone from the smallest infant (on their mother's back) up until they are in their 70s to 80s usually (when balance and brittle bones become a factor).

You are once again proving only that you have some sort of personal issue by continuing to argue that red is green.If you want to believe that laws which are NEVER enforced (by both my testimony and that of your website) amounts to a traffic control system for bicyclists, then by all means do so. However, all 100 plus million bicyclists in Japan will continue to ride and believe that no such system of controls is in place.

That's the reality.
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OKIsItJustMe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 08:55 AM
Response to Reply #23
26. Bicycle accidents on the rise in Japanmost incidents attributed to the carelessness of cyclists
http://www.upi.com/Top_News/2005/05/18/Bicycle-accident... /

Bicycle accidents on the rise in Japan

Published: May 18, 2005 at 4:11 AM

TOKYO, May 18 (UPI) -- Bicycle accidents are on the rise in Japan, with most incidents attributed to the carelessness of cyclists, the Mainichi Shimbun reported Wednesday.

Last year 187,980 traffic accidents involving bicycles were reported, an increase of 6,135 over the previous year. Injuries amounted to 189,392 in 2004, an increase of 6,159. Deaths from bicycle accidents, which had remained at around 900 since 2000, declined to 859 last year.

From January to March this year, 185 people were killed in bicycle accidents, almost equal to the figure in the corresponding period last year.

Law enforcers attribute the increase largely to the bad manners and carelessness of cyclists. Cyclists were at fault in about 68 percent of bicycle accidents last year.

The National Police Agency instructed local police departments across the country in 2004 to issue "yellow cards" to violators, and even traffic violation tickets in serious cases.


Heres an important difference between us. You make claims devoid of any documentation. I document my claims, and you call me dishonest.

Notice that there are other countries in the database I referenced. Other countries where bicycle ridership is quite high, but deaths are universally lower than they are in Japan.

Your claim in essence is that Japan is the wild west of bicycling, with bicyclists not following any flow control at all and as a result; a much safer place to ride. Since motorists don't have any expectations of where bicyclists will or wont be encountered.

Man up. Give me some evidence to back up your claims.
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kristopher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 12:01 PM
Response to Reply #26
27. You provided the "documentation".
The website by the foreigner in Japan confirmed everything I said. Between the author of that blog and myself there is 25 years of experience in that country, but you think by taking segments out of context the conclusions you promote are more valid than the direct statements of the blogger and myself that contradict you.

Cherry-picking snips without context proves nothing except that you can cherry pick snips and make dishonest arguments.
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bhikkhu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 12:59 AM
Response to Original message
24. They can allow it, but I don't think it will amount to anything
Anyone who commutes, shops, and generally travels by bicycle would probably tell you - what is safe and practical comes first, and what the law says is very much secondary.

Cycling into oncoming traffic is just not going to become popular.
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Nihil Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 06:48 AM
Response to Original message
25. The buggers have been doing that for ages ...
... so it looks like the response to "Why don't the police do them?" is
now to legalise it ...
:banghead:

No doubt this will be followed by legalising riding without lights,
riding fast on the pavements and riding through red ("Stop") traffic lights
as these are also popular cycling habits that the police never bother about.

(BTW, I don't drive in London but, as a pedestrian, I see the above behaviours
every working day and have seen the results of cocky cyclists not quite
getting their timing/speed/direction right when doing them ... not nice.)
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