Sunday, October 6, 2013

The Path Less Pedaled

The good folks at have done an impressive job of promoting and advocating cycling, particularly in the state of Oregon which, with their help (and that of many others), has launched the Oregon Scenic Bikeways program, the first of its kind in the US. It's inspiring to see cyclists, local residents, and elected officials teaming up on this project, one with so many benefits and no downside. 

I live in Japan, where millions pedal to work, to school, to the supermarket- where, in short, for many people, and for various reasons, the bicycle is the preferred method of transport.  But as regards bicycle advocacy and cycling infrastructure, Japan is still riding with training wheels. We are woefully behind in the creation of cycle lanes and paths, for instance. Further, I can attest that the attitude of not a few Japanese motorists towards cyclists is "force 'em off the streets"; no "share the road" campaign has been held in Niigata City (pop. 800,000) in the 14 years I've lived here.    


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