This paper the shared use of bicycles and pedestrians in Japan is from the proceedings of 14th International Conference on Urban Transport and the Environment in the 21st Century, which was held in Malta in 2008. The authors reports that cycling on sidewalks in Japan was permitted beginning in 1978 after deregulation of the Road Traffic Law, which was passed to secure cyclists’ safety due to a lack of safe space in the roadways. Although bicycles are still regarded as a vehicle and when cyclists choose to use the roads they must follow the Road Traffic Law, many bicycle users prefer to use sidewalks. The authors outline the advantages and disadvantages of shared bicycle and pedestrian use of the sidewalks. Issues discussed include the safety and amenity of pedestrians, the reduction of cycling speed, and safety and freedom for utility cyclists, defined as the use of bicycles for going shopping or to school. The authors completed a video survey of shared use streets to analyze the relationship between cycling speed, frequency of hindrance and traffic density or traffic volume of street users. Their study results support the coexistence of bicycles and pedestrians with conditions including less than 0.5 pedestrians/minute/mile and less than 3.0 cyclists/minute/mile. The standard for pedestrian/bicycle share use in terms of hourly traffic volume was found to be less than 26 pedestrians/hour and 108 cyclists/hour for 2 meter-wide sidewalks.
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