Bali’s leading tourism stakeholders are calling on the government to create radical new solutions to the island’s traffic woes.
From flyovers to underpasses and more shortcut routes, tourism leaders want to see urgent action on the problem.
Speaking to reporters about tourism and the year ahead in Bali, leaders in the sector are adamant that rapid and impactful action must be taken.
With the new Canggu Shortcut road due to be open in the coming days, and work currently on hold on the Gilimanuk-Medewi Toll Road as a fresh tender process is underway, leaders want to see a coordinated approach to upgrading the island’s tourism infrastructure.
The Chairman of the Bali Marginal Tourism Actors Alliance, Puspa Negara, is just one of a dozen tourism leaders who are calling for big changes.
Negara told reporters “Towards the end of 2023, South Bali had traffic jams everywhere. It’s really very worrying.”
@kata.kovach Ubud traffic is insane #bali #ubudtraffic #traveltok ♬ Baianá – Barbatuques
He added “As a result, traffic in southern Bali and several tourist objects and destinations experienced serious traffic jams, even the Bali Mandara Toll Road was jammed all the way to the airport.”
“Likewise, the Ngurah Rai Bypass towards the airport was completely congested, and it even appeared that several foreign tourists heading to the airport were forced to get out of their cars and walk to the airport, which was really worrying. This slaps our destination in the face.”
With this in mind, Negara and his associates are calling on the Bali Provincial Government and the Badung Regency Government to take strategic steps immediately regarding the expansion of accessibility road infrastructure to overcome traffic jams.
Negara didn’t hold back in his criticism of the system at play, nor did he hold back in acknowledging how widespread the problem is.
He told reporters “The roads and access at the destination are very bad. Look at the areas of Kerobokan, Berawa, Batu Belig, Petitenget, Pipitan, Canggu, Munggu, Cemagi, and Seseh. There are traffic jams and always serious traffic jams.
@gregoire.rssd Bali traffic #bali ♬ BALI INDONESIA – 𝖈 𝖆 𝖜 𝖎
Adding “Likewise, in South Bali, such as Jalan Uluwatu, there are also serious traffic jams in the direction of Pecatu, Ungasan to Kampial.”
“The Badung Regional Government and Bali Provincial Government must take immediate action, don’t let it drag on like this.”
He told reporters that he and his teams feel that it is time for additional underpasses to be built at strategic intersections.
He shared that his teams have also been talking about the need for flyovers to be built to the airport, Kuta, Uluwatu, Nusa Dua, Tanjung Benoa, Ungasan, Denpasar and Sanur.
He explained, “For me, it is time for a flyover to be built in Bali to break up the density of vehicle traffic as well as strengthening regulations regarding traffic routes in order to create a destination that remains comfortable.”
Negara’s comments have been received by the Head of the Bali Provincial Transportation Service, IGW Samsi Gunarta, who said that although these ideas would work in theory, they would take a long time to execute.
Gunarta told reporters “In the long term there may not be a choice, we have to choose between a flyover or going underground. But that’s long-term. This short-term situation can be done by managing the traffic first.”
Gunarta referred to the mega traffic jams that took place over the New Year’s weekend. The traffic was backlogged so much that tourists had no option but to abandon their vehicles and walk to the airport.
This, Gunarta says, was an issue that could have been resolved with increased traffic management and better travel forecasting.
Officials predicted that around 38,000 vehicles would be using the Mandara Toll Road over the New years weekend when in reality it was over 70,000 vehicles the majority of which were transporting tourists to and from the island’s most popular resorts and I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport.
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