The traffic in Bali is nothing shy of infamous.
While dozens of rural and remote areas of the island still see next to no vehicles, in the heart of the tourist resorts, gridlocked traffic congestion is a daily occurrence, and tourists and residents are over it.
The Canggu area is easily the most congested holiday hotspot on the island. Canggu has undergone a rapid period of growth over the last seven years, and road infrastructure simply cannot keep up with the sheer volume of vehicles.
Over the last year, frustrated drivers have started taking matters into their own hands. A series of informal shortcut routes have opened up through farmland as the famous Canggu shortcut, the Canggu-Tibubeneng shortcut remained in near constant congestion.
To help keep traffic flowing along the Umalas Tunon Shortcut a concrete bollard was installed at one end to ensure that only motorcycles can use the route, however, dozens of cars have still attempted to use the route and caused traffic jams as they are forced to reverse back along the road when they realized the concrete bollard on the other end.
The Head of the Traffic Division of the Badung Transportation Service, I Made Gede Wiryantara Adi Susandi, has told reporters that the Canggu, Berawa, Petitenget, and Dalung areas are the areas most prone to traffic jams in North Kuta.
With this in mind, the Badung Transportation Service has committed to developing a new shortcut route that should change the flow of traffic in and around the resort of Canggu, alleviating traffic jams for residents and tourists.
Susandi explained “Traffic jams occur in the morning when it’s time to leave for work or school and in the afternoon when it’s time to leave the office. One of the reasons is the increase in the number of motorized vehicles which is not balanced with the size of the road.”
He continued “The PUPR Department is designing a through road at Simpang Berawa Padonan, Jalan Canggu-Tanah Lot to reduce congestion. The Transportation Department is also making a traffic engineering management design at the intersection for one-way traffic circulation.”
Susan concluded “We have coordinated with the Badung Police regarding the traffic jam problem in Canggu. So traffic engineering will be carried out. The target is that in December the traffic jam can be resolved.”
@nikolaspetrouu Im not a big fan of Canggu Bali traffic #bali #canggu #traffic ♬ Hey Lover – The Daughters Of Eve
Though many Bali lovers fear that with over one million tourists set to arrive in December alone, it may be impossible to read traffic congestion in and around Canggu entirely at such short notice.
For many the news that a new road in Canggu will be well received. Anyone who has spent more than a few days in Canggu will have experienced firsthand the frustrations that come with the traffic congestion and subsequent delays.
However, many will lament that a new road inevitably means a loss of village and agricultural land. Videos circulating on social media demonstrate all too clearly how quickly Canggu has changed in the last few years.
Once a sleepy coastal village known to surfers and latterly backpackers, Canggu is almost unrecognizable as cafes, hotels, villas, and resorts now stand where rice paddies were.
Tourists planning their next vacations in Bali, stoically over the festive season, are advised to add extra time for every journey.
Whether it be from the airport to their accommodation or a day trip around the island, traffic is inevitable and as the authorities work to implement new, longer-term solutions, one of the easiest ways to avoid disappointment during a vacation is to allow for more than enough time on the road or avoiding driving during peak rush hours.
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