Saturday, June 17, 2017

Abandoned Bicycles

The Tokyo Metopolitan Government reported that 34,247 bicycles were abandoned at Tokyo train stations in 2016.  That sounds like a huge number, but that was about 2700 fewer than in 2015 and down from the peak number of 240,000 in 1990.  Every October, all train stations within Tokyo are visited to count the number of abandoned bicycles.  

This seems like an incredible number of abandoned bikes and a huge expense to replace them.  Everyone rides bicycles to get around here in Japan.  How can they just leave their bicycles behind?  I could understand two or three drunk salarymen forgetting which station their bicycles were at, but 34,247?  In Hokkaido, bicycles left in the fall would emerge from the snow in the spring and be totally crushed from the weight of the winter snow.

How about where you live - do you ever see bicycles abandoned?

This reminds me of a joke told by one of my students -- 

Why couldn't the bicycle stand up by itself?  

Because it was too/two tired!


  1. Where I live having your bike stolen is a real possibility but abandoned bikes are not so common.

  2. lol good joke Pamela,wow that is amazing,i have never heard of anyone leaving there bike ,you only hear of them being stolen xx

  3. Ha, ha! I've not heard that joke before, but I do know about abandoned bicycles, not to mention the umbrellas left on trains! In 1990, when the economy was good, people would treat their bicycles, and other things too, like disposable items! I had a student who lost several bicycles because she could not be bothered to lock it!
    These days there is a recycle fee if you want to throw your bicycle away, so it's 'cheaper' to just abandon it (before that remove any any identity signs) at the station!

  4. I have never heard of so many bikes being abandoned. .where do the owners go? Here there is a chance your bike can be stolen, one bike was left down near the beach here, but the police came and got it and it was reunited with it's owner. I think a homeless person took it to get around while he was sleeping down by the beach.

  5. Nope. The only abandoned bikes I know of is when the University of Notre Dame students leave them behind every year when they fly home. They leave tons of stuff that is then sold in a huge garage sale manned by volunteers of various charities who split the profits. Win/win for everyone. I have also heard that the City of South Bend will start renting bikes to get around town now that they have modified streets to include bike lanes.
    xx, Carol

  6. Abandoned bikes? No. But stolen bikes all the time ...

  7. Goodness, I wouldn't have imagined that Japanese stations would have the space to keep abandoned bicycles!

  8. We have an auction a few times a year where they sell the bikes left behind. I don't have numbers, though, I doubt it's anywhere close as much as on Tokyo...but then our town is much smaller too!