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YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan — Motorists entering Yokota’s west side are about to get a detour back in time.

On Tuesday, the 374th Civil Engineer Squadron was to begin changing the traffic pattern to the one used in past at the Bobzien Avenue and Jones Avenue intersection.

The realignment will allow drivers to make right turns after passing through the West Gate.

Currently drivers who want to head right first must go left at the West Gate and circle a parking lot before attempting to cross the intersection toward the Army and Air Force Exchange Service’s gas station, garage and Laundromat.

The 374th Services Division’s vehicle operations facility also is located on that side of the intersection.

“Base officials noticed this was a significant inconvenience,” Capt. Warren Comer, a 374th Airlift Wing spokesman, said Friday.

“They thought it’d be better to redesignate the routes … and make it so traffic flows better in those areas.”

On the left after entering the West Gate are the Tomodachi Lanes bowling center and AAFES’ BXtra.

The right-turn lane after the West Gate was shut down in April 2005. At the same time, a stop sign was removed from the Bobzien-Jones intersection in an effort to alleviate congestion and backups stretching into the west-side residential area.

For now, the stop sign that had been removed for outbound traffic on Bobzien Avenue won’t reappear, acting maintenance engineering element chief Louis Lantner told the base’s Fuji Flyer newspaper in Friday’s edition.

But that decision may be re-examined if traffic flow problems arise, he said. Comer said some delays could surface after workers begin redrawing the lanes, a process that’s expected to last through Sept. 15, Lantner told the Fuji Flyer. “It should be a very simple process,” Comer said.

“We want to make sure people understand there will be work going on in that area, and to transit through in a safe way.”

The new route

Click on image to enlarge.

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