Causes of Congestion
Traffic concentration was the cause of approximately 77% of traffic jams in 2015, 62% of which occurred at uphill slopes and sag sections* on expressways.
＊A sag section is the dip area between end of downhill slope and beginning of uphill slope.
Trends and Analysis of Congestion
We have cut lost time due to traffic congestion* by as much as 50% since the peak of such delays in 2008; however, after holiday special toll discount program was introduced in 2009, lost time significantly increased.
Although lost time decreased with the end of that discount program (a ceiling price of ¥1,000 for rural areas) in 2011, lost time increased due to the impact of recovery work from the damages of the Great East Japan Earthquake and an increase in traffic volume. Since 2013, lost time has again decreased because of various measures to be taken, but it is still high. Thus, we are continually analyzing the causes of traffic congestion and are promoting counter measures against it so that our customers are not kept waiting.
＊Index for showing the impact of traffic congestion in terms of time and number of vehicles.
Trends in lost time due to traffic congestion
Measures against Traffic Congestion
Improvement of Road Structures
We increased the number of lanes and added auxiliary lanes at places where congestion was becoming apparent.
In the vicinity of Hanazono Interchange on Kan-Etsu Expressway
Call to Recover Speed using LED Displays, etc.
In order to eliminate the congestion caused by traffic slowdown on uphill slopes and sag-sections, We use LED displays around the beginning of the congestion to call for recovering speed.
Providing Congestion Forecasts
We provide our own “congestion forecast guides” and other means to provide information on avoiding traffic for a comfortable driving environment. In addition to the forecast, we also provide a real-time traffic information via our website “Drive Plaza” and “Drive Plaza App,” which is an application exclusively for smartphone users.