Thursday, September 23, 2010

Won't Miss #236 - pedestrian overpasses

 A typical overpass, one of hundreds, on Ome Kaido Avenue.

I live near a large major street which is the fastest way for emergency vehicles to reach destinations between my home and other major mini-cities inside of Tokyo. Without access to this street, it is virtually impossible for emergency vehicles to get where they need to go. This long and important street is peppered liberally across its entire length with old pedestrian overpasses. They are there because putting up too many traffic lights and crosswalks would slow the speed of vehicles along this particular street. In an earthquake-prone country, this is incredibly bad planning. If there were a major earthquake, these overpasses would crumble and completely block the ability of ambulances, fire trucks, or other emergency people to get around without maneuvering a maze of tiny side streets.

I won't miss these overpasses, and how I can't help but think what they might represent should I be in Tokyo during a big earthquake.