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Old October 1st, 2013, 06:59 AM   #6181
quashlo
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Saitama to construct 200 km of bike lanes
さいたま 約200キロの自転車レーン整備へ

http://www3.nhk.or.jp/news/html/2013...910341000.html

In an effort to ensure safety for bicyclists, Saitama City will install about 200 km of exclusive bike lanes on roads. Saitama Prefecture boasts the highest bicycle ownership rates in Japan, with 15% of residents who commute to school or work by train using bikes to get between their home and the train station. As a result, bike accidents are a frequent occurrence, with 10 fatalities and over 2,500 injuries in 2010.

On roads with sufficient right-of-way, the city will install exclusive bike lanes. In constrained areas, the city will use pavement treatments to identify the clearance for bikes. The roads in question will be selected this fiscal year, focusing on commute routes to schools and train stations or locations with high accident rates. Construction will begin next fiscal year and last for approximately 10 years.

===

Article has a video.
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Old October 1st, 2013, 07:00 AM   #6182
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Politicians push debate on pre-Olympics extension of Saitama Railway
地下鉄7号線延伸の前倒し議論が活発化 埼玉

http://sankei.jp.msn.com/region/news...2310004-n1.htm

The debate surrounding infrastructure improvements in preparation for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tōkyō is now stirring the pot in Saitama Prefecture. Saitama Stadium (Midori Ward, Saitama City) is planned as a soccer venue for the Games, and some Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) politicians at the municipal and national levels are now pushing to accelerate the proposed extension of Subway Line 7 (Saitama Railway) to Iwatsuki, currently on ice. The Prefectural Government is taking a cautious stance on the project, however.

The mayor of Saitama City had originally made breaking ground on the project by last fiscal year a campaign promise, but was forced to push that goal back by five years in October of last year. Even if the line were extended, it is expected to have difficulties paying back all construction costs. While the City Council had accepted the situation, the selection of Tōkyō as the 2020 host city has flipped the discussion on its head. The proposed extension would build a station directly connected to Saitama Stadium, which is currently 1.2 km away from the current terminus at Urawa Misono. Many locals are now hoping the Games will provide the needed impetus to get the project rolling.

But while some LDP politicians have raised banners in support of the project, the governor of Saitama Prefecture has adopted a cautious outlook, saying that the extension should be decided based on a stable financial forecast for the line, not on a temporary jump in ridership from the Olympics.

===

Tour of Urawa Misono:

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Old October 1st, 2013, 09:51 AM   #6183
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quashlo View Post
Park-and-rides are (thankfully) fairly rare in Japan…

Sapporo Municipal Subway might be the best example. There’s a list of the parking facilities in the PDF here:
http://www.city.sapporo.jp/sogokotsu...rkandride.html

Tsukuba Express also has some, including these in Tsukuba City:
http://www.city.tsukuba.ibaraki.jp/1...52/000777.html

None of them are all that big, though, and in some cases, the parking is shared—in other words, it’s just one structure serving a variety of uses like office, retail, etc., not exclusively just for train passengers.
Ah I see I see.

In a way, it looks like these are parking facilities located near or beside train stations along with access to other facilities such as shopping/retail, toilets, tourist information booths, police and law enforcement facilities, etc.

I think the JR train stations in Ibaraki also offers these facilities.

Indeed, this park-and-ride thing is a very nice concept imho.

I also read and searched more info on this (albeit using Japanese wiki links) and it appears that there are other derivatives as well.

One such is what JR implements over at one of its train stations in the Kakogawa area:



In here, this JR train station caters to bicycle riders and owners. The station offers bicycle parking facilities to its users where owners can leave their bikes there and thus they can ride the train to get to other places in the local train network.

I.e. Park Bicycle<->Ride Train (aka cycle-and-ride or something like that)

Anyways, this park-and-ride concept is definitely interesting imho =)

Which is why I'm surprised why you said this:
Quote:
Originally Posted by quashlo
Park-and-rides are (thankfully) fairly rare in Japan…
Errr..........there's nothing wrong with having park-and-ride facilities.

They bring about many advantages and gives people more choice. This is helpful especially for automobile owners and drivers who are coming from suburbs or more rural areas who want to travel to the inner-city or city center yet cannot afford the more expensive urban parking rates AND/OR are having difficulty finding parking slots (i.e. an area like Tokyo).

Again, park-and-ride facilities bring more choice and preferences and options. There's nothing wrong with having more choices and options. This is a win-win situation imho.

Park-and-ride facilities for the win
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Old October 1st, 2013, 10:07 AM   #6184
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackraven View Post
Errr..........there's nothing wrong with having park-and-ride facilities.

They bring about many advantages and gives people more choice. This is helpful especially for automobile owners and drivers who are coming from suburbs or more rural areas who want to travel to the inner-city or city center yet cannot afford the more expensive urban parking rates AND/OR are having difficulty finding parking slots (i.e. an area like Tokyo).

Again, park-and-ride facilities bring more choice and preferences and options. There's nothing wrong with having more choices and options. This is a win-win situation imho.

Park-and-ride facilities for the win
No these are only useful if there is not enough train routes.
If the station is a bicycle ride distance people would and should ride the bicycle rather then riding a car. It's more economical, it's more healthy and better for the environment as well.
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Old October 1st, 2013, 11:19 AM   #6185
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackraven View Post
Errr..........there's nothing wrong with having park-and-ride facilities.

They bring about many advantages and gives people more choice. This is helpful especially for automobile owners and drivers who are coming from suburbs or more rural areas who want to travel to the inner-city or city center yet cannot afford the more expensive urban parking rates AND/OR are having difficulty finding parking slots (i.e. an area like Tokyo).

Again, park-and-ride facilities bring more choice and preferences and options. There's nothing wrong with having more choices and options. This is a win-win situation imho.

Park-and-ride facilities for the win
Park and ride are not for the win at all - really one should be encouraging mobility to the station in public transport, non-motorised vehicles, or by walking. As SamuraiBlue says, if you have to drive, there is not a sufficient density of railway stations available, or there is not high enough quality public transport (buses/light rail etc) to the station of interest. That is not a good situation. To have to rely upon a car to reach a station seems to me to be counterintuitive.

The worst example for me is in the UK - the Oxford park and ride. Everyone drives to Oxford from surrounding towns, but they then take a bus into the city. So they've still racked up significant vehicle km rather than just taking public transport all the way to Oxford, which would be far more useful (but the public transport to the surrounding area is pretty poor, even I had to drive and use the park and ride there as parking in the city is prohibitively expensive and restricted, thus forcing people to park and ride).
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Old October 1st, 2013, 12:41 PM   #6186
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Clips of the recently-refurbished Keikyū 2100 series, Unit 2101:



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Old October 1st, 2013, 05:02 PM   #6187
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I think park and rides are great, but I like them the way they are done in Japan rather than the way they are done in the US.

In the US, the parking lots and garages are built and subsidized by the transit agency that built the line. In many cases the parking lots are free so as to not discourage usage. This transfers capital and operating funds away from the transit itself and into parking facilities.

In Japan, the agencies don't seem to build parking facilities at stations at all; what parking does exist is privately built and operated for profit. I have no problem with that; if the most profitable land use close to a station is a parking garage then so be it. The cost of building, maintaining, and operating the parking facility is borne by the user rather than subsidized by the agency with tax money. Even in central Tokyo there are many parking facilities. They are expensive, to be sure, but there's nothing to stop you from parking there and then riding the subway, as long as you pay the fee to park.
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Old October 1st, 2013, 05:28 PM   #6188
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One thing about parking lots adjacent train stations, either public or private- often they sit on land that is just too valuable to keep them that way for long- often the asphalt will be torn up after a couple of years, and a building, either residential high rise or retail/office will be erected, providing better return on investment for the landowner. I was quite surprised to see this summer the rapid development of the formerly open land (not necessarily previously parking) around Nagareyama Ootakanomori Station on the Tsukuba Express- nothing there four years or so ago, but now so many high rise condos sprouting up like mushrooms.

In the U.S., such high density development around stations (TOD), is often shot down or diluted by community opposition fearing their home values will drop, by attracting, ahem, "people not like us", and creating an atmosphere not in keeping with the "gracious, countryside feel of the neighborhood" or other fatuousness.
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Old October 1st, 2013, 06:46 PM   #6189
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SamuraiBlue View Post
No these are only useful if there is not enough train routes.
If the station is a bicycle ride distance people would and should ride the bicycle rather then riding a car. It's more economical, it's more healthy and better for the environment as well.
You have a point and that's what perhaps most locals might do.

But then again, at least it's good to know that there's at least choice here. In this case, anyone can have their cake and eat it

Quote:
Originally Posted by orulz
I think park and rides are great, but I like them the way they are done in Japan rather than the way they are done in the US.

In the US, the parking lots and garages are built and subsidized by the transit agency that built the line. In many cases the parking lots are free so as to not discourage usage. This transfers capital and operating funds away from the transit itself and into parking facilities.

In Japan, the agencies don't seem to build parking facilities at stations at all; what parking does exist is privately built and operated for profit. I have no problem with that; if the most profitable land use close to a station is a parking garage then so be it. The cost of building, maintaining, and operating the parking facility is borne by the user rather than subsidized by the agency with tax money. Even in central Tokyo there are many parking facilities. They are expensive, to be sure, but there's nothing to stop you from parking there and then riding the subway, as long as you pay the fee to park.
I give you two thumbs up because I wholeheartedly agree with what you're saying.

Oh and by the way, when I meant by park-and-ride in this case, it doesn't necessarily have to be "strictly" a parking garage or multi-level parking facility right beside train station.

It could also be like for example a shopping mall or a multi-storey building that has either basement or above-ground vehicle parking spaces. Or in short, multi-use/mixed use facility that is beside or near a train station with vehicular parking facilities.

Again it's all about more choices and options and in the end, the consumer wins
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Old October 1st, 2013, 06:56 PM   #6190
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Quote:
Originally Posted by orulz View Post
I think park and rides are great, but I like them the way they are done in Japan rather than the way they are done in the US.

In the US, the parking lots and garages are built and subsidized by the transit agency that built the line. In many cases the parking lots are free so as to not discourage usage. This transfers capital and operating funds away from the transit itself and into parking facilities.

In Japan, the agencies don't seem to build parking facilities at stations at all; what parking does exist is privately built and operated for profit. I have no problem with that; if the most profitable land use close to a station is a parking garage then so be it. The cost of building, maintaining, and operating the parking facility is borne by the user rather than subsidized by the agency with tax money. Even in central Tokyo there are many parking facilities. They are expensive, to be sure, but there's nothing to stop you from parking there and then riding the subway, as long as you pay the fee to park.
Why are park and rides great? They actively encourage automobile use through a kind of "induced demand". People in such congested countries such as Japan don't need a greater disincentive to drive than congestion and the expensive road tolls that exist if they did choose to drive rather than take transit, so they are going to end up taking transit anyway. As such their nearest station should, primarily, be accessed (as I said above) by bus or cycling rather than making the station a car-centric hell like a number of stations I can think of that I've encountered. It is perfectly feasible to cycle 5km or so without any problems whatsoever, and I can bet that will cover a vast amount of the population.

The consumer is not always right - sometimes they're idiots and they'll just take the most lazy way out. You sometimes have to give them a little poke to do what is best for the city/country as a whole rather than what suits them.
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Old October 1st, 2013, 09:18 PM   #6191
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I actually agree with some of what orulz said, but I felt the need to clarify my position… I actually don’t have a problem with small facilities at stations (say, less than 100 spaces total) built and operated privately, as long as they are designed intelligently (no surface lots). Also, I have no problem with “park-and-rides” for bikes (“park-and-rides” generally refers to facilities designed for cars, not for bikes). Also, I am less hostile towards shared parking, but again, the term “park-and-ride” generally refers to a parking facility specifically for use by transit passengers who drive to and from the station.

But usually, park-and-ride facilities are not a sign of good transit design (or urban design / planning, for that matter):

Any kind of parking facilitates and encourages automobile use.
Park-and-rides sound great on paper—“Look, we’re getting people off the freeway and onto transit”—but the net benefits of that will be negated when equilibrium is reached after other people realize the freeway isn’t as crowded any more and choose to switch to driving, other drivers choose to drive longer distances, or more low-density suburban development is built to re-saturate the freeway with cars.

Park-and-ride facilities are usually a sign that you are extending your transit into places where it will have a very hard time succeeding—i.e., low-density, auto-oriented development. All of those people who use the park-and-ride lot will still be using their cars for virtually every other trip they will ever make (to the regional “supercenter” mall, to church, to pick up their kids at school, etc.). All of this just encourages more of the types of development and mode choice patterns that we want to avoid.

And despite all the millions of investment put into building your nice transit station and parking facility, transit outside of peak-period commutes will still be horrible. You will also over-burden the transit agency by increasing peak-period demands (for rolling stock, train / bus operators, station staff, etc.)… From the transit operator’s perspective, you actually want to increase off-peak (or reverse-peak) passenger demand relative to the peak / peak-direction so that you can minimize all the deadheading (empty buses and trains heading back to the storage facility) and not have your fleet just sit there outside of the commute hours. Park-and-rides help to guarantee the failure (or, at best, the mediocrity) of your transit infrastructure.

Park-and-rides consume the most valuable land for a transit operator.
Parking cars takes up a lot of space, so park-and-ride lots end up consuming huge chunks of the most valuable land for a transit operator—the land right outside the station. It’s one thing if parkers are charged market-rate prices for their spaces, but in many cases park-and-ride lots are built by the transit operator and priced to be free or heavily discounted, so they just suck up otherwise profit-generating development potential for the site that could help support the transit operator’s bottom line. Instead of fiscally-sensible, environmentally-conscious development at the station, you just have an uninviting expanse of asphalt used to store cars during the weekday midday period when people are at work in the city. In most cases, the facility will be deserted on weekends. There’s no neighborhood at the station, no activation of the street, nothing to make anyone want to be there, so you’re only capturing one potential market (commuters)—and doing a very poor job of it—instead of multiple passenger demographics (commuters, local residents, shoppers, etc.).

And the park-and-ride facilities will frequently consume all of this space to the detriment of other access modes to the station… Few people want to wade through acres of inhospitable surface parking to get to and from the station on foot. Parking structures are better from a space-efficiency perspective, but are not cheap and don’t resolve the other problems with park-and-ride facilities. k.k.jetcar brought up a good point that it’s very difficult to build anything at station sites because of opposition from suburban residents, but I’ve always believed you generally shouldn’t be building transit infrastructure in suburbia unless you have policies in place for upzoning and densification and can guarantee the success of the transit investment. Otherwise, you are just giving residents of low-density suburbia a means of validating auto-dependent lifestyles, albeit veiled behind the excuse that a handful of them now take transit to and from work.
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Old October 1st, 2013, 09:24 PM   #6192
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A collection of clips of all rolling stock owned by Tōkyō Metro:



Morning rush hour at Hankyū Awaji. With the completion of the Keiō grade-separation at Chōfu, this may be one of the most impressive flat junctions left in Japan, although it will eventually get elevated as well.





15 minutes at Keikyū Kawasaki. Interesting to see the Toei Subway stock doing a Keikyū-only run at 3:20.

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Old October 2nd, 2013, 12:48 AM   #6193
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Apparently, these photos were making rounds in English-language news recently, but I missed them. The set is titled “Tōkyō Commuters in the ’60s and ’70s”, but I’ve never seen them before. Judging from the photos, this would appear to be the Chūō Rapid Line at Shinjuku during the morning rush hour.
http://izifunny.com/2013/08/30/huge-...s-12-pics.html







Judging from his armband (“学生班”), this guy was a college student working part-time for JNR.











Compare to today:

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Old October 2nd, 2013, 08:20 AM   #6194
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Alas, the overcrowding shown in those old photos is STILL a problem, especially on the Chūō Main Line east of Tachikawa Station and on the Saikyō Line.
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Old October 2nd, 2013, 09:26 AM   #6195
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Experimental "rope" platform doors begin pre-testing at Tsukimino Station on the Tōkyū Den'en Toshi Line (2013.09.20):

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Old October 2nd, 2013, 10:12 AM   #6196
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I would question how good that is with regards to health and safety compared to normal platform doors. Have you seen it in action?
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Old October 2nd, 2013, 07:04 PM   #6197
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And why did somebody invet that? Is it better, cheaper, more effective?
For sure it looks weird.
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Old October 2nd, 2013, 08:22 PM   #6198
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Well, it's actually a fairly ingenious solution... Standard platform doors, even waist-high, can be quite expensive, especially if you are working with older stations where you end up having to retrofit / rebuild the platform edge to handle the added weight. The vast majority of platform doors in service today are for new-builds, as it's difficult to install them on legacy systems. The rope type doors are cheaper and lighter than the standard type, and suited to the multitude of door configurations typically present in Japanese urban rail systems.

As for safety compared to other types of platform protection systems, I don’t think there’s really enough data to make any conclusions… After all, this is the only such system in Japan, and it’s only a prototype that hasn’t even begun official testing. The only two other installations anywhere in the world are in Korea—Munyang (문양) Station in Daegu and Nokdong (녹동) Station in Gwangju.
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Old October 2nd, 2013, 08:34 PM   #6199
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Sure, I agree it's ingenious and will be a great solution if it presents with no problems, but I was just more wondering about the possible health and safety implications. I am assuming (from watching the guard manually moving the "ropes") that the motor powering them is not powerful enough to harm a child if one was playing with the "ropes" for example?
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Old October 3rd, 2013, 07:20 AM   #6200
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I doubt it will be much of an issue. Even standard platform doors have sensors to detect obstructions, although they're placed on the inside of the platform door leaves to check for obstructions before closing the doors. You can basically use the same concept to detect obstructions before opening the doors (in this case, pulling the ropes up), and I imagine that's what they do here—if an obstruction is detected, the ropes won't rise.
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