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Dear Alice,

I recently returned to Japan after almost 20 years back in my native Canada. Among the many new things I’ve noticed are crosswalks with special lanes for bicycles. As an avid cyclist, I welcome anything that makes it easier to get around on two wheels, but I have to say this seems like one of those great ideas that doesn’t work. The marking makes it perfectly clear that bikes are supposed to use one side and pedestrians the other, yet I constantly see pedestrians where only bicycles are supposed to be and bicycles where only pedestrians are supposed to be. This surprises me, because Japanese are generally so good about following rules. So, what the heck’s wrong?

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