New ideas mulled to ease Naha traffic congestion
Okinawa Prefecture reportedly considers introducing a “Park and Ride” plan, that would allow people traveling to Naha from the central parts of the island park their cars at Aeon Rycom parking areas, and then use public buses to continue to Naha.
The planners suppose residents of Awase, Okinawa City, from where there are few bus routes going to Naha, would be the main users. The key bus routes run on special bus lanes between Okinawa City and Naha on Highway 58 during the morning and evening rush hours to avoid traffic jams.
Okinawa Prefecture officials reported on the plan Friday at a discussion session with experts convened to devise new measures to reduce traffic jams and develop a new traffic environment on Okinawa.
No decision when to introduce this system has been made. According to officials who are participating with the planning sessions, they would like to carry out consultations with local residents and facilities, as their cooperation is necessary.
The southern end of the “Park and Ride” system is envisioned to be around Tedako Uranishi Station of Okinawa Urban Monorail in Urasoe that is on the monorail extension currently under construction.
During the discussion session Friday, participants expressed several ideas, such as, “As traffic is becoming more congested in Naha, because of the increasing number of cruise and cargo ships, isn’t it possible to use ports in Motobu or Nakagusuku to reduce the traffic jams?” and “Would it be possible to introduce automatic operation of the monorail trains to increase the frequency of the trains?”