12 January 2013

Something New Under the Sun, or along the Tamagawa?

Sometimes, we ride a route for years, grumble to ourselves about something along the way and wonder why the powers that be do not make a modest improvement.  In this case, I am thinking of the path along the Tamagawa as I head out of Tokyo on the Tokyo (not Kawasaki) side of the river.   Southeast of the Odakyu Line, I ride in the street -- which most of the way between Futakotamagawa and Komae is just a small local road with little traffic and good visibility.

Heading Northwest, just before the Odakyu Line, I join the path and go under the train tracks and a bridge approach ... only to hit a stretch where the choices were (1) a dirt and gravel path, or (2) a road that (on weekends, at least) had at least 3 chains blocking the path to cars and cyclists.  Often, we instead would take a detour through the neighborhood, especially if it had rained recently and the path had large pools of water and areas of mud.
Looking SE at the new plastic posts, where there once was a chain
Finally, as I rode this section in December, a change!  The chains blocking the road have been replaced with some posts that are passable by bicycle.  And at one point, the "detour" through the neighborhood is now blocked off to cars as well, which should keep all except local car traffic off the stretch of road completely.

And of course, just a few hundred meters further North, where there is another gravel section of path and then a narrow, congested area of the (concrete) path for the next kilometer or two, the alternative of taking a parallel road has been dramatically improved as construction finished within the last year or so that makes it possible to stay parallel to the path and quite close to the river most of the way this stretch and the Keio Keirin oval, instead of looping far inland.

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