Bus lanes on Highway 58 to be extended

Okinawa Prefecture and Okinawa Prefectural Police are getting ready to extend the current bus lanes on Hwy 58 to eventually all the way from Naha to Okinawa City.

According to prefecture officials, in the first phase the bus lane will be extended to stretch continuously all the way from Naha to Yafuso in Urasoe City. The extension would go into effect from April.

In the second phase, the bus lane would then be extended all the way to Okinawa City.

However, the Prefectural Police has reportedly expressed their doubts about the plan, and fear that the extension would increase traffic congestion on Hwy 58, and has suggested special measures to alleviate the impact. They also point out that the measure requires more resources to control the bus lane use.

In contrast, the Okinawa Prefectural Office secretariat proposed placing staff along bus lanes for educational activity to teach drivers respect for the bus lanes, and improving traffic signs. Officials explain that they want to take the measure in order to encourage people to use public transportation instead of private cars.

The add that before entering into the second phase, results from the first phase should be evaluated, and if no improvement is noticed, the measure would be re-examined.