Q: What are the investments needed for promoting an eco-friendly bicycle-oriented city?
A: Investment in bicycle parking is more important rather than bicycle lanes.
Fukuoka City is relatively flat and compact. Nearly 50 percent of the population live in the central areas easily accessible by bicycle. The city government is implementing measures to promote bicycle use in order to achieve a "city that makes you want to stroll" without depending on cars too much.
Fukuoka City's Policy Promoting Bicycle Use
Fukuoka City is the city developing as the administrative center of the Kyushu Region. As it continues to develop, the population also grows. As a way to solve the transportation problem, the city promotes the bicycle as one of the essential transportation means, taking advantage of its characteristics of being compact and relatively flat topography.
According to the 2015 Population Census, almost 50 percent of the population live in the city’s central areas easily accessible by bicycle. The personal transportation survey in 2017 revealed that 20 percent of cyclists in Fukuoka City used bicycles to commute to work. It was necessary to develop bicycle parking spots in the business centers.
Since the 1980s, Fukuoka City has implemented the measures for bicycles, such as setting up the bicycle non-parking zone in the business centers and building the bicycle parking spots, because the problem of disorderly parked bicycles emerged and it even got the disgrace of being the worst in Japan in 2001 (Tenjin area). Now, collaborating with the area's stakeholders, like the building owners, retail developers, and transportation companies. Nearly six thousand bicycle parking spaces are installed in both Tenjin and Hakata Station areas, and disorderly parked bicycles are hard to find in these business centers.
The bicycle parking space in Fukuoka City in the city center goes one step ahead. Some of the spots are relocated in the basement or upper floors, and it is the consideration for the safe promenade for pedestrians of all kinds, including children, senior citizens, and physically challenged people. Besides the bicycle parking relocation, the city government is implementing measures, such as the separation of pedestrian lanes and bicycle lanes on some roads and the allocation of staff monitoring the appropriate use of the bicycle in the business centers.
And the collaboration with the bicycle-sharing operators started in Fukuoka City. The bicycles are also available for the visitors, and they can enjoy the bicycle ride and sightseeing in the city.
Combined with public transportation network, a bicycle can be an ideal transportation means which is easy to understand and use for residents and visitors. The city can achieve a "city that makes you want to stroll" without depending on cars.
[Case ID: Urban Transportation UT-01]