Help Question about traffic rules

Dec 4, 2008
170
3
38
Tokyo
#1
I think I do know the answer since this has happened a couple of times before but

I am on the street, daytime, legit rider, come to a junction in the road where 2 lanes veer right and 2 veer left

example

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I am making the right, about where the bike is in the shot above, in the lane nearer to the camera.

Sitting there well in the centre of the lane, cop starts blowing his whistle, baton aimed at me, walking me down.

Grabs the handle bar and starts pulling to the kerb, insisting that bicycle must be on the left.....despite the fact I am turning right?

So I have to use the pedestrian crossing? Apparently so, but he says I can ride across the crossing??

Mostly I just ignore these guys since they are standing and I am on the move, except the motorbike cop, and here I am stuck at the lights....

who is right? and can I get a little statement that I can laminate and carry if need be?

and of course it may not be a matter of 'who is right' since arguing takes more time and aren't we always in a hurry but still, you know....
 
Apr 26, 2010
212
2
38
Shimokitazawa
#2
I had an accident while trying to use a right turn lane and I was told by the police that bikes have to stay to the left and use pedestrian crosswalks in order to turn right.
 

kpykc

Speeding Up
Jun 13, 2007
804
4
38
39
Tokyo
#3
I think bicycles (and scooters) are not allowed to take right turns in this case and should keep to the left all the time. Same for the cross sections - first cross the road to the opposite side, wait at the corner - then cross the road again.
I was taking right turns many times without problems, though, and was a bit surprised by this rule. Since then I try to avoid taking right turns on large and busy roads, but still do it when the traffic is not heavy
 

Gunjira

Maximum Pace
Oct 2, 2009
1,003
176
83
Tokyo
#4
That is correct, bicycles and even 50cc scooters are forbidden right hand turns against traffic. Probably the only time that is ok, is when you hit a T intersection.
You can sometimes see scooter drivers, doing exactly the behavior the cop wanted to see from you. Usually police will not do more than whistle at cyclists and be more rigorous with scooters though. You were lucky that you did not get fined.

The logic behind that, must be that smaller objects are more difficult to recognize for traffic. In terms of statistics, accidents have been going down for all modes of transport except bicycles, so this is one way the authorities try to keep us safe.
 

TOM

Maximum Pace
#5
Correct Sergey. For three-lane crossings, the rule is the same for smaller (less than 50cc - I believe) scooters and motorbikes.

I think bicycles (and scooters) are not allowed to take right turns in this case and should keep to the left all the time. Same for the cross sections - first cross the road to the opposite side, wait at the corner - then cross the road again.
I was taking right turns many times without problems, though, and was a bit surprised by this rule. Since then I try to avoid taking right turns on large and busy roads, but still do it when the traffic is not heavy
 
May 22, 2007
3,619
1,455
143
Kawasaki
halffastcycling.com
#6
@CoffinDodger that's a really nice way to illustrate your question.

At that junction, if I'm coming round the Palace to turn right up towards Hanzomon I will usually get on the sidewalk earlier, around Sakuradamon, depending on the prevailing jogger density. It takes up to four minutes to negotiate the junction 'properly'.

Here are two of my favourite law-busting spots.

1. R246 in Shibuya going onto Roppongi-dori
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Lanes 1 and 2 go left up Konnozaka toward Omotesando. But I don't want to turn left. I want to go straight on, where that blue bus is going. There is no pedestrian crossing (crosswalk) until the top of Konnozaka/Miyamasuzaka - only a pedestrian footbridge.

So I take lane 3 toward Roppongi.

Vehicles illegally parked in the lane 1 red zone (usually including patrol cars) make lane 2 very perilous, so rather than approach and cross I'll get into lane 3 at the previous light - the 'tunnel' under the Toyoko line station. It's nerve-wracking sometimes. If the lights are kind I can get up to 50 kph on the downhill approach and still be doing 40-plus on this section. If I'm starting cold, it's a different story.

One day I'll ask the cops there what the correct procedure should be.

2. Roppongi-dori flyover at Nishi Azabu intersection
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Neither end of this tunnel/flyover thing has a "no bicycles" sign. Hooray! It saves going down the hill, waiting for the light, and climbing back up. Unfortunately I need to be in lane 6 (of 7), over to the right of the Metropolitan Expenseway Ramp, to get where I wanna be. Only once have I felt it was too dodgy. Maybe one time in a hundred a car will honk at me.

Similar thing coming back from Roppongi Hills side, but then it's 'just' lane 3 of 4.

Not recommended for the faint-hearted, though.

--HF Mike--
 

Ludwig

Speeding Up
Oct 9, 2008
871
0
36
Setagaya-ku, Tokyo
#7
I know these spots well. I tend to avoid flyovers and -unders even when they are not banned to bicycles because I'm just too scared of the fast traffic, esp. fast trucks. I travel a lot more by taxi than I would like and know how fast everyone goes esp. in these sections. Even if I go at 50km/h, I will still be slow. Why risk my life...
 

FarEast

Maximum Pace
May 25, 2009
5,528
538
193
Yokohama
#8
I commuted those exact roads for 2 years...... took all the flyovers as I feel they are actually more safe than the roads.

For 1 week I dropped down off the Roppongi flyover down the hill and then back up the other side. I swear every day some idiot would run the red coming the oppersite direction, turning right. Safe going over the fly over.

The intersection at Shibuya..... never a problem there, right at the top of the hill its single lane and merges with 3 lanes, just straight across into the 3rd lane at the top of the hill staying left.

Also 1/3rd road use rule is a MUST in central Tokyo, don't be a gutter crawler.
 

TimKendall

Speeding Up
Dec 28, 2009
129
0
36
Nagoya
#10
So, I am fairly confused here, though it doesn't take much these days.

So, if I am riding down a regular two lane road (one lane in each direction), I am not able to take a right turn off this street? Without using a pedestrian crossing?

Now this maybe ok in Tokyo, but in the real world (countryside in my case), this may be a couple of kilo down the road!

I am sure these is logic somewhere... but, this seems a little bizarre, no?

Any ideas..... I am laughing my bollocks off on this one
 

Deej

Maximum Pace
Oct 13, 2007
1,018
149
83
Setagaya
#12
Quelle coincidence

Mike, unless I'm mistaken, I think I saw you (or another Half-Faster in your club's unmistakable battle regalia) deftly negotiate this maneuver Saturday afternoon around 5:15-ish.

I was the dude in the yellow helmet on the single speed bomber with fat tires. Every time I veer left on that bend, I'm grateful that I don't have to peel off to the right. Not to say that there aren't dicey bits on my commute, which is really just two roads -- Setagaya-dori and 246.

I would have said hi, but the hill preceding the turnoff sucked all the air out of my lungs!

See you on the road...

Deej

1. R246 in Shibuya going onto Roppongi-dori
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Lanes 1 and 2 go left up Konnozaka toward Omotesando. But I don't want to turn left. I want to go straight on, where that blue bus is going. There is no pedestrian crossing (crosswalk) until the top of Konnozaka/Miyamasuzaka - only a pedestrian footbridge.

So I take lane 3 toward Roppongi.

Vehicles illegally parked in the lane 1 red zone (usually including patrol cars) make lane 2 very perilous, so rather than approach and cross I'll get into lane 3 at the previous light - the 'tunnel' under the Toyoko line station. It's nerve-wracking sometimes. If the lights are kind I can get up to 50 kph on the downhill approach and still be doing 40-plus on this section. If I'm starting cold, it's a different story.
 

GSAstuto

Maximum Pace
Oct 11, 2009
945
242
103
tokyo
www.roadfixie.com
#13
I've almost given up on the 'rules' here. In my neighborhood there are always people on th wrong side, riding sidewalks, ox carts and donkeys , motorscooters in the crossings, , 3 wheeled 2 stroke thingies screaming along like something out of Tron, etc. So - I suspect one should either follow 'the law' explicitly or just run 'Rambo'. Either way the signal across to the standard motor vehicles is very clear. Mixed riding habits just seem to generate confusion among the piston mongers.

I do find it funny though - according to Japanese motor law (at least what I got during my 3hr lecture by the man)

1) Anything smaller than 50cc (including bike) is not allowed to make right turn. You need to make the silly 'J' turn, or use the crossing walk.
2) Cyclists MAY NOT ride on roads reserved for toll entrances.
3) Cyclists MAY travel the wrong way on one-way roads.
4) Cyclists MAY travel on designated sidewalks - whatever that means.
5) Cycles must have a bell and TWO brakes. I guess TWO FEET don't count??
6) Using your pump for anything other than blowing up tires requires a Japanese 'Sword and Arms' permit.
 
May 22, 2007
3,619
1,455
143
Kawasaki
halffastcycling.com
#14
if I am riding down a regular two lane road (one lane in each direction), I am not able to take a right turn off this street? Without using a pedestrian crossing?
In this scenario, you can turn.

But if it's an intersection (crossroads), to turn right you should keep to the left, wobble to a halt pointing in the direction you want to turn, wait for the light, and head off when the light changes.

Yeah - right! :D

Failure to do so may result in you being vigorously whistled-at by one of those cops posted as moral support for the much-ignored traffic signals.

Imagine the chaos they'd manage to think up if they had roundabouts!

--HF Mike--
 

TimKendall

Speeding Up
Dec 28, 2009
129
0
36
Nagoya
#16
James.... hahaha
Yep, if in doubt just ride away from the cop, and find a few good alleys that his car won't fit down.... Love it, and been there on many occasions in the UK!

Possibly a wanted man! His crime was turning right on a Bike
 
May 22, 2007
3,619
1,455
143
Kawasaki
halffastcycling.com
#19
[..]at least what I got during my 3hr lecture by the man)
Driver re-programming? Lucky you. I had six hours. It could be more scary and 'Clockwork Mikan' if the majority of the class were not asleep.

The scariest part was learning that the official procedure is 'Signal - Mirror - Maneuver'. It explains some of the behaviour I see out there. But, still, WHAT!?

3) Cyclists MAY travel the wrong way on one-way roads.
Yes. Most 'No Entry' signs feature the label 「自転車を除く」jitensha wo nozoku.* So it means No Entry Except Bicycles.
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4) Cyclists MAY travel on designated sidewalks - whatever that means.
Where you see this sign...
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...bicycles and people with alarmingly pointy hips may share the sidewalk. Cyclists should ride on the side nearer the road. Naturally the pedestrians don't know or care about this caveat, and will zomb wherever they effing please. Amateurs. :mad:

5) Cycles must have a bell and TWO brakes. I guess TWO FEET don't count??
Why would anyone want less (or indeed more) than two brakes? :p [case in point]

6) Using your pump for anything other than blowing up tires requires a Japanese 'Sword and Arms' permit.
Oh dear. Does that mean this is verboten? :cop:

* Amusingly enough, nozoku (here, to exclude or except) is homonymous with nozoku (to peek at).
 

Gunjira

Maximum Pace
Oct 2, 2009
1,003
176
83
Tokyo
#20
In this scenario, you can turn.

Failure to do so may result in you being vigorously whistled-at by one of those cops posted as moral support for the much-ignored traffic signals.

Imagine the chaos they'd manage to think up if they had roundabouts!

--HF Mike--
Today on one-lane Nakano-dori, about 200 meters of pile-up leading up to a crossroad that has a right-turn lane about 8 cars long. Traffic not moving at all, left (straight) lane too narrow to pass cars on the left even in the gutter. I get in the right-turn lane, just so I don't have to stop in heat and fumes. Pass one of the little box-cop-cars. Not a second goes by, before they blast their speakers "Bicycle - ride on the left side!". Embarrassing - more for them than for me, since except me nothing could move and nobody was in danger. I guess rules are just rules.

Talking about Japanese roundabouts - I cannot stop smiling. That so wouldn't work here:
Tanaka-san about to enter roundabout, unsure who has right of way. Just to make sure stops. Nakata-san circling roundabout. unsure who has right of way. Just to make sure stops.
Polite Tanaka-san avoiding to look directly at Nakata-san waits for the other car to move. Polite Nakata-san avoiding to look directly at Tanaka-san waits for the other car to move.
Since the other car doesn't move Nakata-san carefully pushes the pedal once, at the same Tanaka-san carefully pushes the pedal once.
Repeat from start at absurdum.