And so ends the shortest survey ever.
Komono City in the northern part of Mie Prefecture is a scenic place to live, but it’s also not immune to the weirdness. The occasional irrational driver or robbery cop has been spotted from time to time, but none of that could match the weirdness of the past few months.
On August 16, Komono received a report from a contract worker collecting abandoned and illegally parked bicycles for confiscation. The reason was that near a free bicycle parking next to a train station a large number of bicycles were found together on the side of the street. Additionally, they were standing upside down with their tires raised skyward.
Perturbed by the kind of twisted mind or minds that would do something so inexplicable, the contractor told city officials: “The condition of the bikes was abnormal. This goes beyond the realm of ordinary misdeeds.
The official who received the report was also alarmed by its strangeness and immediately took it to Mayor Takayuki Shibata who then said, “That was me.”
▼ Mayor Shibata
— 柴田孝之 (@tsivata) July 5, 2022
Since last July, overnight parking of bicycles has been prohibited in the free parking lot near the station. So from July to September, Mayor Shibata had gone to the parking lot early in the morning, picking up abandoned bicycles, then putting them upside down on the side of the nearby street.
While this partly explains what happened, there were still many unanswered questions, so at a town assembly meeting on September 12, council members berated Mayor Shibata for the door. bike upside down.
Councilman Enkichi Yokoyama asked, “Isn’t that a bit much? Logically, putting the bikes upside down can damage the handlebars and basket and cause the chains to come loose. You may be charged with property damage.
Mayor Shibata explained that because the bikes were locked, the easiest way to transport them was upside down by their frame. Also, some days he was carrying 30 bikes and was too tired to turn them right side up. He added: “In Tokyo and Osaka they pile bikes on trucks and take them away, but I have never heard of anyone being held liable for property damage. I also confirmed to the police that it was not a problem.
▼ Report with Mayor Shibata explaining why and how he moved the bikes
Councilman Kengo Fujita then called the act “irrational” and pointed out that part of the area where Mayor Shibata left the bikes was private property and he could be charged with illegal dumping.
Mayor Shibata fired back, “First of all, [bicycles] are not garbage. These bikes violated the rights of the townspeople. However, he also said he would take board members’ comments seriously and deal with the issue in a different way from then on.
He also told the media, “That won’t happen again. Honestly, I never thought it would make so much noise. This could become a moot point soon anyway, as Komono plans to expand bike parking options in this area from 50 spaces to 200 by the end of next March.
Granted, that probably wasn’t the ideal solution to the problem, but Mayor Shibata certainly didn’t shy away from literally taking the city’s business into his own hands in his attempt to help the citizens. In some ways, you could say he looks a lot like Mike Haggar, Metro City’s no-nonsense mayor…but without the mustache.
Source: TV Asahi News, Ise Shimbun
Top Image: Pakutaso
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