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Symposium seeks solutions for Okinawa’s traffic jams

Date Posted: 2005-07-22

Okinawa’s road network is near gridlock, with bottlenecks and overloaded streets increasing each year.

A symposium organized by the Prefecture General Bureau Office is looking for some answers to resolving the difficulties. They cite travel between Naha and Okinawa City as an example, where more than 230,000 cars transit each day. By comparison, the much larger city of Fukuoka in Kyushu has 130,000 vehicles moving about each day.

“We need to make new roads and a new system of feeder roads to main streets,” says Kiyoshi Toguchi, General Affairs Bureau section chief. “It’s going to be difficult because of the Japanese Government Trinity Reform cutting our budgets for roads.” He ponders how to make the traffic jams go away.

One solution offered by a symposium panelist, a Meiou University International Tourism Section chief professor, is an increase in highway speeds. “We should not make limits on road speeds,” he says, “and we can change the speed limit on expressways and larger roads. If it’s not cloudy or raining, speeds can be faster.”

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