Print Story "Not Enough Bicycle Parking... (1991)"
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By lylehsaxon (Mon Oct 13, 2008 at 10:41:39 AM EST) Omiya, Bicycle parking, Tokyo (all tags)
Revisiting 1991 again - the young people who are now middle-aged, the little kids who are now in their twenties.  The trains that have been scrapped and replaced with newer ones.  The women with long, straight, black hair (you very rarely see that any more).  The vast number of bicycles parked around the stations....


Basically, everything is different, which shouldn't be a surprise, but change comes little by little, day by day, so you don't even realize how much things have changed (even though you think you do), unless you have visual & audio recordings to look back at your past with.  There are so many details that go missing in the memory - so seeing everything again can be a bit of a surprise.

That preamble out of the way, I should explain the situation with the bicycles.  Recognizing there was a serious problem of insufficient parking space for bicycles, multi-level bicycle parking garages were built all over the city, but they were still rare in 1991.  In the middle of this video ("Trip to Omiya - 1991"):
http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=CgHyfc8qn9U

 - is an example of what cities did from time to time to clear roads and try to get people to park their bicycles in a way that didn't get in the way of everything.  People would rush to the station to get to work on time, and park their bicycle anywhere they could - often double and triple parking along roads, to the point that cars and delivery truck drivers would have to get out of their vehicles and move bicycles before they could continue down a street.  People would park so many bicycles around the entrances to a shop that you'd sometimes have to move one of them before you could even get into the shop!

And so the men clearing away illegally parked bicycles are not being real careful with them (slam! bash! - see the video).  What happened to the bicycles being taken away?  Many were probably given up on, and some (the better and/or more expensive ones) reclaimed.  Once taken away like that there was a fine to reclaim one, and if the bicycle was rusted and old, people would often just buy a new one.

With many more bicycle parking areas created since then, this is not as serious of a problem as it used to be, but still there are parking problems here and there.  Typically, certain shops will have parking for customers, and then people visiting shops without parking will leave their bicycles in whatever parking space they can find.  The space fills up, and customers of the shop providing the space can't park their bicycles there, so the shop owners get angry and remove bicycles of people obviously not shopping there, etc.

I should put in some more details, but it's late and I need to get some sleep!

Lyle (Hiroshi) Saxon
http://www5d.biglobe.ne.jp/~LLLtrs/

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"Not Enough Bicycle Parking... (1991)" | 9 comments (9 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
It's amazing how many bikes by muchagecko (2.00 / 0) #1 Mon Oct 13, 2008 at 01:51:31 PM EST
are crowding around the station. Now I understand why my ex would steal bikes in Taiwan and not feel guilty about it.

How are the women wearing their hair now?


A purpose gives you a reason to wake up every morning.
So a purpose is like a box of powdered donut holes?
Exactly
My Name is Earl

Shorter & Dyed by lylehsaxon (4.00 / 1) #3 Tue Oct 14, 2008 at 04:25:36 AM EST
A large percentage of women here dye their hair some shade of brown.  It's a little bizarre to look at the hair coloring products in stores that sell cosmetics - there are something like 75 shades of brown available - from nearly black to nearly blond....

Lyle

The shortest way home is the longest way 'round....
[ Parent ]
Brown? by muchagecko (2.00 / 0) #5 Tue Oct 14, 2008 at 07:18:00 AM EST
Good grief. At least when I dye my hair, I use a rainbow of colors.


A purpose gives you a reason to wake up every morning.
So a purpose is like a box of powdered donut holes?
Exactly
My Name is Earl

[ Parent ]
Ha-ha - but of course... by lylehsaxon (4.00 / 1) #6 Tue Oct 14, 2008 at 11:06:44 AM EST
What other colors would there be!?  I don't know why that seemed strange to me!  I guess just the large number and the fact that I never noticed the same thing outside of Japan, so I (for some reason) assumed it was something unique (without stopping to think about it).  Speaking of a rainbow of colors though - while you don't see it much recently, older women here used to tint their hair some pretty wild colors - purple - green - and for tinting, young woman use a number of colors, although I haven't seen non-brown hair dye in stores.

As for being out of touch with the outside world - I haven't set foot out of Japan for twelve years and I've been here for 24 years now (with some vacation time in other countries).

Lyle

PS - This is try #2 - written with a text editor and then copy-pasted into Husi.  I don't know what it is, but if I try to do anything radical, like typing for example, within Husi, my browser suddenly vanishes without even a poof of smoke.  I'm not having this problem at other sites... is there something unique about the Husi site that could be causing this?


The shortest way home is the longest way 'round....
[ Parent ]
I've switched off the new editor by TheophileEscargot (4.00 / 1) #7 Tue Oct 14, 2008 at 11:29:20 AM EST
It hasn't crashed on me, but it seems irritating.

If you go to "Display preferences" among the right-hand links, you can switch off the "Use Fancy Editor" setting and get the old boxes back.
--
It is unlikely that the good of a snail should reside in its shell: so is it likely that the good of a man should?

[ Parent ]
You went to Japan right out of high school? by muchagecko (2.00 / 0) #8 Tue Oct 14, 2008 at 09:05:43 PM EST
My ex has a cousin who I love dearly that went to Japan on his mission and after college went back there for good.

What got you to Japan in the first place?


A purpose gives you a reason to wake up every morning.
So a purpose is like a box of powdered donut holes?
Exactly
My Name is Earl

[ Parent ]
Interest & Youth.... by lylehsaxon (4.00 / 1) #9 Sat Oct 18, 2008 at 11:21:50 PM EST
Interest & Youth....

Basically I was interested in Japan for whatever reason - maybe because I like machines and the machines Japan was making in the early 1980's were impressive compared to other countries?  I don't know - basically I was an unconnected 24-year-old who got it into his head that he just had to go to Japan, and so he went... and stayed.

Lyle


The shortest way home is the longest way 'round....
[ Parent ]
Are the bikes locked? by LinDze (2.00 / 0) #2 Mon Oct 13, 2008 at 09:04:17 PM EST
Or is (was?) there little bike theft? 

-Lin Dze
Arbeit Macht Frei
Locked, but... by lylehsaxon (2.00 / 0) #4 Tue Oct 14, 2008 at 04:30:53 AM EST
There were a couple of scenes I took from the train station platform (that I decided not to use in the edited video) of the clean-up guys wheeling bicycles over to the truck on their rear tires.  Back in 1991, most bicycles had the locks on the front tires - now they are usually on  the rear tires.  There not being space, etc., most people don't lock their bikes *to* something, they just lock the wheels (there are typically built-in locks on bicycles when they are bought new).

Bicycles do get stolen sometimes - as well as umbrellas.....

Lyle
The shortest way home is the longest way 'round....
[ Parent ]
"Not Enough Bicycle Parking... (1991)" | 9 comments (9 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback