National

Olympics traffic control test involving reserved coin-operated parking conducted in Tokyo

JIJI

A public-private council that includes the transport ministry and the Tokyo Games organizing committee conducted a test Saturday to assess the effectiveness of making coin-operated parking lots reservation-only as one of the traffic control measures during the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics.

The idea is to prevent traffic jams caused by drivers searching for vacant parking spaces, and forcing those without reservations to park their vehicles in locations further away from competition venues.

The weekend test involved 12 parking lots in total near the New National Stadium and utilized the opportunity of a poplar annual fireworks display held nearby to check its effectiveness.

In the experiment that started at 10 a.m., signboards were placed at the entrance of the parking lots to inform drivers that the spaces were reservation-only. Based on the outcome of the test, the council will also consider ways to better provide guidance to cars that show up without reservations.

“We expect fewer vehicles to enter the parking lot as each space will be available for only one vehicle per day,” said an official of Times24 Co., a coin-operated parking space operator that participated in the test.

A similar test will be carried out near the venues of Olympic and Paralympic test events slated for autumn.

The transport ministry plans to restrict vehicles without parking-lot reservations from driving on roads near the competition venues during the duration of the games. It will decide which roads to be affected by the restriction based on the results of these tests.