- Japan In Focus
Ehime: Bike Lane Widened to Revive Popular Cycling Course
17:58 JST, December 25, 2020
Bike paths are being widened on the Shimanami Kaido Cycling Road, a place many consider sacred for cyclists.
A part of the course that is located in Ehime Prefecture has been widened to about a meter, doubling its width.
The number of cyclists had dropped sharply in the early months of the coronavirus outbreak, but now that cycling is in the spotlight as a way to avoid crowds, the locals are hoping that having the bike lanes widened will help to revive the holy sites of cycling.
“I like being able to ride at my own pace without worrying about cars coming from behind,” said a 35-year-old man from Mie Prefecture who was enjoying cycling on a newly widened bike lane on Oshima island in Imabari, Ehime Prefecture.
Most of the bike lanes on the Shimanami Kaido are 0.5 meters wide. And in some cases on holidays, cyclists would line up and cause a bit of a traffic jam.
According to police, in the five years between 2015 and 2019, there were a total of 108 bicycle accidents on the islands where the Shimanami Kaido course passes, with one person killed and 108 people injured.
In September 2018, there was an accident involving four bikes and two people suffered minor injuries. Then in October 2019, a foreign woman was seriously injured when she was struck by a car.
The Ehime prefectural government plans to widen the width of about 6.7 kilometers of the course to over a meter and complete the safety measures for the entire 30 kilometers of the Ehime side by the end of fiscal 2021. The Hiroshima prefectural government is also working on the remaining portion of the road, planning to complete about two kilometers of it by the end of fiscal 2021. It plans to widen the bike lane to 1.5 meters from around 0.5 meters.
Officials from both prefectures emphasize that if there is more room to ride, cyclists would be able enjoy cycling more safely and securely, including the prevention of spreading the coronavirus. They hope to promote their respective measures and attract cyclists back to the area.
"Features" POPULAR ARTICLE
Fukuoka Castle to Come to Life Lit Up in 7 Different Colors
Shibuya Cafe Continues to Offer Experience of Listening to Masterpieces; Near 100-Year-old Cafe Maintains Traditional Atmosphere of Years Gone By
Kawazu-zakura Cherry Blossom Trees Adorn Riverbanks in Shizuoka Town; Blossoms Bloomed 5 Days Earlier than Last Year in Japan
Tokushima: Japanese Glass Eel Fishing Season Reaches Peak; Lights of Fishing Boats Create a Stunning View
JN ACCESS RANKING
- Japan Eyes 45 B. Yen in Aid for Optical Semiconductors
- Business, Labor Leaders Reaffirm Vow to Raise Wages in Shunto Talks
- Japan Real Wages Fall at Steepest Pace in 9 Years in 2023
- Japan’s Job Availability Ratio Rises for 2nd Straight Year
- North Korean Workers in China Riot over Unpaid Wages; 2,000 Occupy Factory, Kill Plant Manager