The John Box Times
With the 2020 Tokyo Olympics rapidly approaching, a major issue that the capital city has been grappling with is the lack of bicycle lanes.
Bicycle sharing services have grown in popularity around the globe as people find cycling in cities to be convenient and good for their health. Provided they’re not killed by a motor vehicle.
The problem with cycling in Tokyo is that there has never been a place to do so. The streets are narrow and so are the sidewalks. While most residents had given up hope, the plucky Tokyo government delcared that they have solved the problem.
“I am pleased to announce we have solved the issue of no bicycle lanes in Tokyo,” Kazu Mukai, Planning Director of the Road Transport Bureau, said. “Through years of wracking our brains and distilling the best ideas down to a single elegant solution, we will be creating bicycle lanes, marked in blue, on the side of all major streets.”
Mr. Mukai revealed pictures like the following exhibiting some of the bicycle lanes created thus far.
“But you didn’t actually create a bicycle lane,” one intrepid reporter noted.
“That is not true,” Mr. Mukai responded. “Before there was no bicycle lane. Now there is one. As you can clearly see. It’s painted in blue.”
“But the street is exactly the same. You’ve just painted some bicycle marks on the side of it.”
“Exactly. We have created bicycle lanes. So now bicyclists have a place of their own to ride freely and safely all around our wonderful city.”
“But the size of the streets has not changed. They were narrow to begin with and they still are. Don’t you think there’s a very real danger of being hit by a car?”
“No, riders will not get hit by cars. Riders will be in the bicycle lanes while cars will not be in the bicycle lanes because cars are not bicycles. Do you understand that cars are not bicycles?”
“Yes, I get that. But because the streets are still narrow, cars will unavoidably spill into bicycle lanes and may hit bicyclists.”
“I think you are failing to understand that the bicycle lanes are not for cars. They are for bicycles. Only bicycles will be in the bicycle lanes. Cars will not be in bicycle lanes. Cars will be in the car lanes. Tokyo welcomes all bicyclists to the bicycle lanes and no cars to the bicycle lanes. We hope that bicyclists enjoy riding the streets of Tokyo. Further, we hope that other cities and countries will follow in our footsteps if they want to learn how to solve the problem of no bicycle lanes. It’s actually not as difficult as one would expect, when you seriously consider it and are willing to take action. Good day.”
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