Monday, March 29, 2010

Kyoto City Streets (街道): Kyoto to Osaka (11)

At times, we took the bike path along the Kamo River instead of Old Senbon. The bike-path provided nice views of the river, although the size of the perspectives gave the feeling of slow going. Bikes occasionally wizzed by. Kari and I argued about whether bike paths were good ideas. In the US bike paths are becoming common, and many people see them as entertainment or even perhaps as an alternative to cars. However, I believe that a bike path is usually not conducive to normal life because a bike path is usually built with bike and not pedestrian entertainment in mind. They are usually long, straight, and remote from shops. This bike path was probably safer than this stretch of Old Senbon because cars sometimes zipped around the curves on the narrow old street. By dividing the bike path and the car street, it gives free reign to cars drive without care, and it separates pedestrians and bicyclists from the joys of the houses and shops close by. In the picture below, one old lady is trying to take her bike out on Old Senbon but she has to be very careful because of the car traffic. This way, the bike path seems to actually alienate local users.

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