Bali’s traffic issues are no joke, but thankfully, officials across the island are working to try and tackle the issue as quickly as possible.
As leaders announce huge road reconstruction works in the Uluwatu, village leaders in Canggu have implemented a small but impactful approach to take congestion on one of the busiest tourist shortcuts.
Canngu is an area of Bali that has undergone unprecedented rapid tourism development.
As villas, beach clubs, and hotels have popped up left, right, and center, the village’s roads have not been redeveloped to meet demand.
This has led to rising traffic congestion over the last few years, pushing both locals and tourists to use narrow farm tracks as shortcuts.
These shortcuts have, in turn, become unofficial roads connecting areas like Umalas to Berawa, but not without problems.
The famous Canggu Shortcut has been the site of many traffic collisions and, in tragic cases, even tourist deaths. The narrow shortcuts connecting Canggu’s popular beach hangout were never designed for the volume of motorcycles they now receive, let alone cars.
Tired of gridlock traffic on the Umalas-Berawa shortcut, known formally as Gang Batu Sari, village leaders have installed a huge concrete bollard to prevent cars from traveling down the shortcut. This, leaders feel, will go a long way in keeping traffic moving in the area.
The Head of the Tegal Gundul Neighborhood, Wayan Suryant, told reporters why the community has taken matters into its own hands. He said, “We have installed a concrete clock in front of the road bridge. So only motorbikes can pass.”
Leaders in the Canggu and Tibubeneng areas have been working to reduce traffic congestion around the booming tourism hotspot since November 2022.
Work is underway to tackle the flow of traffic in and out of the busiest parts of the resort, where traffic reaches gridlock most frequently.
This includes areas like Mango Alley where land acquisition processes are underway so that the local government can widen the road from a narrow farm track to a proper two-way road.
Construction teams worked overnight to install the new concrete bollard, making it safer for motorcycles to pass down the road without having to navigate around cars stuck in gridlock.
It will be for cars, too, which will now be directed to stay on the main roads that can accommodate their size.
It is not only in Canggu where officials are addressing the urgent need to improve road infrastructure in order to support booming tourism.
Earlier this week, officials in Badung Regency confirmed that a multi-billion rupiah project to widen and create a new main road in the Uluwatu area has been given the go-ahead to start land acquisition.
Uluwatu, like Canggu, is undergoing a surge in popularity with international tourists right now.
The stunning coastal resort is one of the most in-demand destinations on the island, and the volume of traffic on the roads is starting to take its toll.
Tourists have shared stories of taxi drivers refusing to take them to Uluwatu or dropping them off halfway when traffic has got so bad.
The new road will help tackle the issue of traffic entering the Uluwatu resort area, particularly around the Nirmala-Uluwatu Intersection, down through Jalan Uluwatu, and onwards around the GWK Cultural Park.
The Badung Regional Secretary, Wayan Adi Arnawa, confirmed that construction will begin in mid-2024
While novel solutions like the GoBoat service between Canggu and Uluwatu have been well received and help take just a few cars off the roads between the island’s two hottest destinations, tourists are asking if it is enough, and if it is happening quickly enough?
Both frequent tourists to Bali and local people are in agreement that major work needs to be done to ensure that the island’s transportation infrastructure keeps up with the ever-growing tourism industry.
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