Police and community leaders in Bali’s busy Ubud have announced a crackdown on illegal parking in the center of the town. The news comes as the artistic capital of Bali prepares to open the newly constructed market that is set to attract even more visitors to the area.
While Ubud was quiet and free from traffic for the duration of the lockdown, traffic jams have returned to the area as prevalent as ever. Local leaders have noticed a rise in illegal parking, which not only creates hazards for other road users but is an inconvenience for residents who need round-the-clock access to their homes and businesses.
During a meeting held at the Ubud Palace late last week, Tjokorda Gde Putra Sukawati chaired a public discussion. The meeting was also attended by the Head of Ubud Traditional Village, Tjokorda Raka Kertyasa, the Head of Ubud Police Commissioner IGN Yudistira, the Gianyar Regency Transportation Service, community leaders, and other local stakeholders.
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The discussion started around the issue of the mounting traffic jams in central Ubud and touched upon plans to restructure the traffic management system in the ever-busy town. AKP Muhammad Bhayangkara Putra Sejati from Gianyar Police proposed that one key factor in the issue of regular gridlock, aside from the volume of traffic, is the issue of illegally parked vehicles.
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AKP Sejati revealed that during his patrols of central Ubud, he frequently observed no parking signs being disregarded by locals and visitors alike. He said that Monkey Forest Road (Jalan Hanuman) is a particularly sore spot for parking violations and that he and his teams will take ‘firm action’ against those that disobey the rules.
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With all parties in agreement that action must be taken against illegal parking, the discussion moved on to a dialogue focused on the restructuring of traffic management in central Ubud. Currently, there is a series one-way system in place that is designed to keep traffic flowing around the very center of the town. However, local leaders have agreed that the system needs to be looked at and made to be as efficient as possible given the increasing volume of traffic.
AKP Sejati continued, “we are studying cooperation with the Department of Transportation. After that, we can evaluate [the traffic structure]. In the near future, we will definitely take action. [We will have] standby personnel from morning to night. The patrol team will comb the Ubud area in coordination with the Polsek.”
He concluded, “After Covid, we hope that Ubud will be neat, organized, loved by many people, and orderly”, sharing his hope that Ubud will long continue to be a world-famous tourist destination.
Speaking later in the meeting, the Head of Ubud Traditional Village, Tjokorda Raka Kertyasa, also known as Cok Ibah, said that the traditional leadership council will create parking ‘pockets’ for local residents. These parking spaces will be for local residents only, and tourist vehicles and local staff will have to park in other dedicated areas.
He noted that parking along the hard shoulder of Ubud’s busy streets, like on Jalan Raya Ubud, makes it hard for two cars to pass safely. Cok Ibah suggested that once the parking situation is resolved, traffic will flow more easily. He summarised, “In Ubud, everyone is looking for food. It just needs to be arranged, arranged so that it becomes a comfortable Ubud to visit.”
The crackdown on illegal parking in Ubud town center is accompanied by a crackdown on ‘naughty’ foreign drivers. Across Bali, traffic police are coordinating ‘The Great Safety Operation 2023’. In Gianyar Regency, where Ubud is located, traffic police have confirmed that they are taking a stand against foreign drivers who are violating the rules of the road, namely not wearing a helmet and not carrying an international driving license.
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