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Bali Governor Asks Public To Stop Complaining About Traffic Jams

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Bali Governor Wayan Koster has requested that the public stop complaining about traffic jams on the island. Last week, the provincial leader addressed an audience at the Art Center in Denpasar. His speech was a celebration and review of the 4-year leadership of the Koster-Ace administration. 

Traffic Jam Outside Uluwatu Clothes Shop In Ubud Bali

In his speech, Koster acknowledged that hotel occupancy is averaging 65% in Bali’s most popular areas. In some areas of Badung Regency, hotels are filled to over 90% consistently. He said restaurants are also filling up, with beaches and roads becoming busier too. He said, ‘It used to be quiet, we enjoyed traveling, now we are starting to complain [about the traffic]. Don’t complain, because if it’s crowded, it means the economy is alive.’ Bring back the pole #canggu #bali #shortcut #canggushortcut #canggupole #canggubali #scooter #traffic ♬ WE CANNOT ESCAPE WE CANNOT COME OUT – Emile Morgan

Governor Koster went on to share his gratitude that the economy in Bali is bouncing back, especially in the tourism sector. He explained that Bali has returned to being a ‘safe, comfortable, and conducive tourist destination’. He invited the audience to give a round of applause for tourism.

He highlighted how the economy is growing again after a period of negative growth during the pandemic. He shared that the economy experienced negative growth of -9.31% in 2020 and -2.47% in 2021. Yet Bali’s economy had grown positively in 2022. Koster shared his hopes that by the end of 2022, economic growth will be close to 3.5%. 

@omlyalya #ubudstreet #ubud #ubudbali #ubudlife #bali #baliroads ♬ You Give Me Something – Jamiroquai

His comments about the traffic jams on the island come as a response to very public complaints about the issue of congestion in increasingly busy parts of the island. Footage shared on social media by local drivers and tourists shows regular backlogs of vehicles along roads between key tourist destinations. Canggu has famously been battling traffic congestion since the area underwent rapid development in the last 5-7 years.

Once a quiet coastal village, Canggu is now one of the busiest areas of Bali. While development has boomed in terms of buildings, little has been invested in upscaling the area’s infrastructure. Roads and pathways originally built to support a few dozen cars or people carriers an hour, along with local moped riders, are now contending with major rush hour traffic jams and complete gridlock at peak times. 

@babyttiandra Bali traffic be crazy but its still something i like about it ❤️ #fyp #bali #uluwatu #balitraffic ♬ Long Nights – 6LACK

Local senators have called on the provincial government to review development budgets to investigate whether more funds can be assigned to road infrastructural improvements in busy tourist areas like Canggu.

In early August, at the Bali Regional Governments Budget meeting, I Wayan Sandra, the chairman of the Badung DPRD, called on the provincial government to assign more money for improvements to road and wastewater management in Canggu. Though his requests were heard, no further discussion about increasing funds for the area will be had until next year’s budget. 


Likewise, in Bali’s cultural capital Ubud, traffic jams have noticeably re-appeared in the last six weeks or so. Although voted the best city in Asia in 2022, Ubud has an opportunity to improve for both locals and tourists. Though, like Governor Koster, many local business owners in Ubud told reporters that they saw the return of traffic jams as a positive sign.

Gusti Ketut Keramas told reporters in August that ‘…there must be traffic jams. There’s nothing wrong with traffic jams, as long as there are officers who can manage them properly. Yes, we have to understand each other on the highway’.


Governor Koster’s request to the public to look on the bright side is backed up by new policy announcements. On Thursday, 29th September told audiences at the Indonesian Electric Motor Show in Jakarta that he will be creating electric vehicle-only zones in 2023. He hopes that this will not only tackle the issue of congestion by encouraging people to put more conscious thought into their travel arrangements but will reduce pollution in these areas too. 


Speaking at the event last week, Koster confirmed that these electric vehicle-only zones will include Nusa Dua, Sanur, Denpasar, Ubud, and Nusa Penida. However, there was no specific mention of new zoning policies for Canggu. 

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Bugs Bunny & Daffy Duck

Wednesday 5th of October 2022

Amazing !!!!!! Stop complaining ????? How about you do what every other country does. Build more roads. That is right. You will need to start with buying land and houses and building qualityh roads that not only carry cars but also sidewalks so people can go for a walk. Stop building everything!!!! Bali has enough hotels , resto , shops ext ext

Very easy go to Singapore and see what they have done how they build roads,sidewalks ext ext Super crazy that the bypasses do not have turn lanes instead you have a garden in the middle of the roads. I love the gardens but where there is a tragic light you should have turn lanes for about30-40 meters. There should be more tragic lights. Stop complaining????? How about fix the problems of Bali. If you do not fix your infrastructure, build more roads, get all these stupid motorcycles without mufflers off the street soon there will not be any tourists already there are so many people and newspapers saying Bali is a mess and not a good place to go. You need to listen to the complaining people they are complaining because there is a huge problem here. I love Bali and the people here but I have had enough so after 36 years of living here I have had enough and so will all your tourist that come for a holiday and sit in traffic all day


Wednesday 5th of October 2022

what a shame, no skills, no respect for people complain, this is not a clever government. they don't need to invent something special, just go out and check what other countries are doing. i have no words....


Tuesday 4th of October 2022

Reverse logic at play: 1. First unchecked development of historical rice field and small villages into busy tourist zones. 2. Problems surface: Traffic jams, air pollution, noise, depleting ground water, no proper zoning, etc 3. Start thinking about how to develop required infrastructure.

Next time I suggest start with item 3.


Tuesday 4th of October 2022

Where do these people come from? Get stuck in traffic jams and I should be grateful???

Get serious/proactive about solving the traffic (and other infrastructure) problem, they're only going to get worse.

And stop wasting money on pink flying pig schemes to try and increase tourism.


Saturday 8th of October 2022

@Shorty, Damn, now Cok Ace will have an idea on how to harness the pigs to ease traffic congestion.


Monday 3rd of October 2022

The good Gov is a joke; he has a serious issue with priorities.