Yamate-dori is a major, heavily trafficked, road that runs all the way from Itabashi to Shinagawa.  There are various somewhat similar looking segments of lanes on the sidewalk all along the route, but the section running north and south near Higashi-Nakano stands out from the rest with its length and width, clear signage, and the lovely planters separating cyclists from both cars and pedestrians. In other areas of Yamate-dori where the sidewalk is narrower, pedestrians and cyclists are separated simply with a white line and different shades and patterns of tile – which mostly fails to keep pedestrians and cyclists apart.  The Yamate-dori sidewalk and lanes are very well-lit at night.

Yamate-dori has many sections of sidewalk bike paths and we evaluated it as a whole. We think it would be best if it was a consistent protected bike lane that runs along the road and connects to a larger network of protected bike lanes.

第4位 都道317号 山手通り



SAFETY RATING ( 8.5 ) / 安全性 8.5点

Transition Points – Yamate Dori is a long road so the bike path will vanish in some points and pick up again later. Overall it’s poorly designed and it does not indicate what to do at these transition points.


Cohesion – The Yamate Dori bike path is connected to other bicycle lanes in multiple areas. This is a rare thing to find in Tokyo. We wouldn’t go as far as calling it a cohesive network but it has places where it connects to blue paint.


Obstacles – On the Yamate-Dori bike path, one has to ride over countless curbs as they cross other streets. The path has maintenance doors on the ground only along the bike area. The lane contains utility poles at some locations, bulky plants tend to diminish the space people can feel comfortable riding in, and sometimes parked bicycles also make the space even narrower in front of businesses as there is no on-street bike parking.


Traffic Separation – As a sidewalk path it separates the vehicular road traffic from the bicycle area but there is little done to separate pedestrian traffic from entering the cycling area and vice-versa. As the bike path is not wide enough for two cyclists to pass each other or for a cyclist to overtake another comfortably, one of them tend to enter the pedestrian area in either situation.


Lighting – The path is well lit by street lamps but there are places with no/little shade, where trees are not even planted for future growth and shade. Just exposure to the sun and glare off cars and buildings.


DESIGN RATING ( 6.5 ) / デザイン 6.5点

Communication – The bike path typically has overhead signs (pogostick), a light-gray surface color that makes it distinguishable from the pedestrian area, and ground markings. This light gray surface makes the markings hard to notice, which might be one of the reasons why pedestrians often walk along the road side in the bicycle path.


Understandable – The distinction between the pedestrian and cyclist areas is indicated mostly by pictograms and can be understood by anyone, but some warnings such as “Yield to pedestrians” (歩行者優先) and “Slow down!” (スピード落とせ!) are shown only in Japanese text.


Promotes Safety – The design separates the heavy traffic on the street with the bicycle infrastructure, and where the Metropolitan Expressway appears overground, it’s covered by noise-reducing walls.


Transition Instructions – There are no clear directions about what users should do at the end of the bike lanes. When one reaches an intersection there usually is a bike crossing with some ground marking (riderless bicycle) and hiragana (じてんしゃ) but there should be clearer and more continuous directions spanning the transition points.


USEAGE RATING ( 7.5 ) / 利用状況 ( 7.5 )

Popularity – It can be very busy at times. The total length of this bike path means it will be busier in some stretches and empty in others. As a whole, the percentage is roughly the same or a little bit less than the other sidewalk paths we’ve explored.


Broad Spectrum – As a long and relatively safe backbone of a network, this pair of paths support a wide range of users including elderly, parents with their kids on the child seats, morning commuters and delivery cyclists, but during our observation we saw few kids riding along this road.


Scalable – Sidewalk lanes can cut into the pedestrian zone but as mentioned earlier this is not the area that needs to be converted. If traffic on the bike path becomes too much to handle they should basically take space away from the roads.


Majority Preference – Yes. The width is attractive to many users and the heavy traffic on the road compels users to use the side path.


Total 23.2 / 合計 23.2点



The bike path is sporadic on this road. It comes and goes and disappears when you need it most.


TIPS / 改善案のポイント

Trees should go on the divider between the pedestrian and cycling areas.
Signage and utilities should also be located on the greenery.
Use of blue paint will help alert users to the bike lane.
A wide lane will accommodate many users. This may require taking away space from vehicles.


Illustration purposes only. Feasibility studies would need to be conducted for viability for cost, local ordinances, and other unknown specification.


[23] 結城将司 (2015) ‘環状第6号線の整備について’, in. 第27回 技術研究発表会, アーバンインフラ・テクノロジー推進会議. Available at: http://www.uit.gr.jp/members/thesis/pdf/honb/471/471.pdf (Accessed: 20 June 2019).