Shimane Prefecture assemblyman Yuzo Sasaki’s comments in the Feb. 2 article “Gas levy vital for maintaining rural roads” really struck a nerve. He said “those roads are not unnecessary” and “there are still many roads that need to be built.”
As a driver, I wouldn’t mind paying the ¥25 gas tax if it wasn’t being wasted on completely unnecessary pork barrel projects. Maybe Sasaki should come to the Ome/Okutama area and drive through the huge new tunnel that bypasses both of Okutama’s two traffic lights. He could then speed along the towering spans that have replaced the scenic switchbacks heading into Yamanashi, or he could enjoy the “high-speed” bypass that has more traffic signals than the original road.
He’ll never have to slow down if he drives on our almost vacant Ken-o-do — a highway that no one wants or can afford to use. Maybe he would enjoy crossing the bridges that should be spanning Tokyo Bay, not the Tama River.
I agree that there are roads that need to be built and maintained. I also believe that this can be done with the ¥25 tax if people like Sasaki would use a little common sense and stop throwing away money on useless projects.