Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Urban Planning

Driving in Tokyo can be a interesting thing. Nevermind fact that they drive on the right hand side and that streets are rarely labeled.

This post is about the size of the streets.

I'd estimate that about 80% of the roads in Tokyo are fairly narrow one-lane streets that are intended for two way traffic, pedestrians and bicyclist. The telephone poles also are in the streets, albeit at the edge. Sandy--on the leash here--helps provide scale for this picture.

The major arteries are wide and accomodate a lot of traffic. Still, such roads are also used by many bicyclists and motorpeds that dart between cars, so one has to be a particularly attentive driver. On such roads, pedestian crossings are carefully managaged. Fencing inhibits jaywalking (which is discouraged and not much practiced here). Between corner crossings, there are many raised pedestrian crossways. This picture was taken from one such elevated pedestrian bridge.

These pictures were taken on an early Sunday morning without much traffic, but will give you an idea of the scale of the roads.

All and all, I would have to say that this helps to discourage driving and concentrate vehicular traffic to the major roadways. It also encourages the use of public transportation or self-transportation.

I will have to say I love riding my bike to the grocery store.

No comments:

Post a Comment