Saitama City recently announced a plan to create a 200km network of bicycle lanes within 10 years as part of its commitment to ensure the safety of cyclists and to promote a bicycle friendly environment.
Currently it is unknown of the lanes will be fully separated from traffic, or if they'll simply be blue stripes on the side of the road offering little protection, but the fact that Saitama City is committed to the network and to bicycle safety is commendable.
Saitama already hosts numerous cycling events including the Tour de Saitama and next month will hold a UCI event; the "Saitama Criterium by Tour de France". The city hopes that such events will further promote bicycle usage within Saitama Prefecture, but admits they have to do their part to ensure cycling is safe for all, including not only providing infrastructure, but increasing awareness of cycling rules, and devising systems to prevent bicycle abandonment, failing that, systems to efficiently handle abandoned bicycles.
Implementation of cycling lanes has proven difficult in space starved Japan where cyclists are already quite at home cycling on the sidewalks. Saitama city is using the momentum of its national and international cycling events to garner support to drive cycling infrastructure forward.
Lets hope it does not fail, and that the bicycle lanes provided are of better quality than this bicycle lane in Yokohama.
September 26, 2013
Saitama City Plans 200km of Bicycle Lanes Over 10 Years
Father of two, husband of one, lover of family, bicycles and running.
Urban Cycling Consultant, Tokyo By Bike.
Byron Kidd is the founder of the Tokyo By Bike website, writer, experienced urban cyclist, and expert on cycling in the staggering metropolis of Tokyo.
Working with NPO's and cycling activists to improve cycling infrastructure in Japan, Byron also operates internationally via a vast network of renowned urban mobility experts to promote Japanese cycling culture, and demonstrate how everyday cycling can work in megacities around the world. No city is too big for the bicycle.
Day Job, Software Developer.
Writing code and stuff, for games and things.