Outside of the ultra-density urban hubs, bike use in Japan is surprisingly high. It’s not uncommon to see a mother toting groceries and two children around on her bicycle without breaking a sweat. But then, these cities also have robust bicycle infrastructure, bike parking garages, bike valet, and all of the accommodations you’d usually only see afforded to cars and SUVs. This kind of infrastructure allows people to make a healthy choice, and to opt out of buying a car altogether.
…with bikes and pedestrians relegated to busy car-dominated roadsides, we end up sacrificing our health and safety for convenience.
It’s time to re think our transportation infrastructure and what that infrastructure is serving. In many cases you can’t truly answer that a solely car-based infrastructure is serving the good of the general public. Is it serving our convenience? Perhaps. But with bikes and pedestrians relegated to busy car-dominated roadsides, we end up sacrificing our health and safety for convenience.
The world needs not only to rethink the role of the vehicle, but to get to work on infrastructure for bicycles and pedestrians so that this scene is a common and safe one for all of us.
This photo was captured in Takamatsu, Japan by our Asia section editor, Suhee Kang.