(社説)銀輪都市東京 「クルマ脳」を改める

May 13, 2014
EDITORIAL: Tokyo given great opportunity to become more bicycle-friendly
(社説)銀輪都市東京 「クルマ脳」を改める

The bicycle is the most useful tool for making society less dependent on cars.
 自転車は脱クルマの切り札である。

Children, adults and elderly people can use bicycles to improve mobility. Bicycles help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming and offer an effective way to get around when public transportation is disrupted by earthquakes and other natural disasters.
子どもから高齢者までみんなが乗れる。温暖化や帰宅困難者の対策になり、健康にも良い。

Cycling is also good for the health.

Given the aging of the nation’s driving population, the use of bicycles should be promoted as a safer alternative to automobiles.
ドライバーの高齢化を考えても、車から自転車への乗りかえを進めた方が安心だ。

Tokyo Governor Yoichi Masuzoe has pledged to reduce the daily flow of cars into central Tokyo as part of the metropolitan government’s efforts to prepare the city for the 2020 Summer Olympics. Masuzoe has also promised to make the capital a more bicycle-friendly city.
 2020年東京五輪に向け、都心に流れ込む車を減らす。自転車で動きやすい街にする。舛添要一知事はそう掲げる。

London was also said to be lagging behind many other major cities around the world in terms of cycle-friendliness. However, London established many bicycle lanes, using the opportunity offered by hosting the 2012 Olympics.
 ロンドンも遅れていると言われていたが、五輪を機に自転車レーン整備が急速に進んだ。

Tokyo also has a great opportunity to promote bicycle transportation in the six years until the 2020 sports event. The Japanese capital should lead other local governments by making the shift from cars to bicycles.
 東京もこの6年が好機だ。首都から自転車シフトを進めて、全国に広げたい。

The big challenge is taking effective measures to reduce accidents involving bicycles.
 それには事故対策が重要だ。

Roads in Japan are much safer today than during the period of rapid economic growth, when the term “traffic war” was used to describe the dangers on the streets. But the percentage of pedestrians and cyclists in all traffic fatalities in Japan remains far higher than the ratios in other industrialized nations.
 交通戦争と呼ばれた高度成長期を思えば、日本の道路はずいぶん安全になった。それでも他の先進国に比べると、事故の死者に占める歩行者と自転車の割合は突出して高い。

Also alarming is that accidents between cyclists and pedestrians have increased by 14 percent over the past decade in Japan, while the number of all traffic accidents has declined by one-third.
 自転車対歩行者の事故の増加も気になる。交通事故全体が10年前の3分の2に減るなかで14%増えている。

In some lawsuits, cyclists have been ordered to pay tens of millions of yen in damages for causing accidents that have killed or seriously injured pedestrians.
死亡や障害を負わせる事故を起こして数千万円の賠償判決を受けた例もある。

The law requires cyclists to ride close to the left side of the road, in principle. But many cyclists still use sidewalks, mainly to avoid the terror of riding on roadways with honking cars speeding past.
 自転車は原則として車道の左側を、と法に明記されていても歩道走行はなかなか無くならない。自転車のすぐ横を車が警笛を鳴らして走り去る。そんな車道には怖くて下りにくい。

The environment for cycling on streets should be improved significantly, with priority placed on the safety of vulnerable road users.
 まず、自転車が車道を安全に走れる環境を整えよう。何より「弱者優先」の徹底が大切だ。

Many people tend to think that bicycle lanes will never gain ground in Japan because the roads are generally narrower.
 日本は道幅が狭いから自転車レーンが広がらない。

“That’s a typical way of thinking that reflects the deep-rooted car-first mentality among people steeped in a car-oriented culture,” says Shigeki Kobayashi, who heads a nonprofit organization devoted to promoting the use of bicycles. “Why would you give the priority to cars in the allocation of space on narrow roads?”
そう考えがちだが、自転車活用を推進するNPOの小林成基理事長は言う。「それは車優先の染みついたクルマ脳の発想です。なんで道幅が狭くても車の取り分から先に考えるんですか?」

We need to reconsider the priorities of road use. Pedestrians should come first, followed by public transportation vehicles and bicycles. Private cars should be last on the priority list.
 まず歩く人。次に公共交通と自転車。最後に私有車。道路を使う優先順位を見直そう。

One effective way to make motorists recognize the principle that cyclists should ride on roads is to create specially painted bicycle-only lanes.
 自転車は、車道を走るもの。ドライバーにそう認識させるために効果的なのは、車道上に色を塗って自転車の通り道を示すことだ。

An experiment conducted in Tokyo by the transport ministry and other organizations showed that bike lanes sharply reduce the number of cyclists riding on sidewalks. Still, many cyclists are afraid to use roadways even with lanes designated for bicycles.
国土交通省などが都内で試みた実験では、歩道走行は大きく減った。
 それでもやはり車道は怖い。そう思う人も多いだろう。

It is important to note that most accidents between bicycles and cars occur at intersections.
 ただ、自転車と車の事故の大半は交差点で起きている。

Cyclists who enter intersections on the road are more clearly visible to drivers than cyclists who suddenly dart into intersections from sidewalks.
歩道から突然交差点に出るより、初めから車道を走る方が、車から見えるから安全と言われる。

Stricter speed limits should be imposed on streets in central parts of Tokyo. Businesses and shopping districts should be required to offer more bicycle parking spaces so that footpaths are not clogged with illegally parked bikes.
 中心市街地は車の速度制限をもっと厳しくすべきだし、違法駐輪で歩道をふさがないよう企業や商店街に駐輪場を増やすべきだ。

And cyclists must never forget the principle that pedestrians have the right of way.
自転車に乗る人も歩行者優先を忘れてはならない。

We hope the Tokyo Olympics will catalyze a radical change of the car-oriented transport culture in this nation.
 強い者勝ちの街を変えるきっかけに五輪がなればいい。

--The Asahi Shimbun, May 12
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2014-05-15 08:10 | 英字新聞

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