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Countdown to chaos, Bali prepares for New Year's Eve traffic

Jakarta Globe - December 31, 2023

Ayos Carlos, Bali – The severe traffic jam that paralyzed the Bali Mandara toll road last Friday resulted in numerous travelers having to walk to Ngurah Rai International Airport.

In response to the chaotic situation, Denpasar City Police, toll road operator Jasa Marga, and the Ministry of Transportation have taken measures to prevent a recurrence of the Bali traffic nightmare on New Year's Eve.

As of Sunday, the influx of tourists to Bali remains unrelenting, with visitors spending their holidays, celebrating New Year's Eve.

Ketut Adiputra Karang, the CEO of PT Jasamarga Bali Tol I, said that to anticipate severe congestion during the New Year 2024 holiday return flow, they will hold a meeting with the Ministry of Transportation to prepare scenarios for handling traffic density on the toll road.

"The measures will be discussed with the Ministry of Transportation this afternoon," said Adiputra on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Denpasar City Police are formulating traffic engineering schemes in the Kuta area, Badung Regency, Bali, to manage congestion during the New Year transition.

"We are deploying 13 personnel in front of Jalan Raya Kuta for 2 kilometers, 11 personnel on Jalan Dewi Sartika along 750 meters, 41 personnel along Kuta-Legian Beach for 1.8 km, 12 personnel on Jalan Patih Jelantik, and six personnel at the Sidoi-Melasti intersection," said Denpasar Police Chief Wisnu Prabowo in Denpasar on Saturday.

He explained that police personnel would redirect traffic, starting from the first point at the intersection of Jalan Patih Jelantik-Legian. Meanwhile, the route to the Bali Bombing Monument would be closed, and drivers would be diverted to Jalan Legian Kaja.

The second point is at the intersection of Jalan Legian-Patimura. Vehicles coming out of Jalan Benesari would be directed north towards Sidoi. Furthermore, personnel on standby at the intersection of Jalan Mataram-Patimura would guide drivers to Jalan Majapahit and Jalan Mataram. If drivers come from Jalan Raya Kuta, they will be redirected to Jalan Setia Budi or exit the area towards Sunset Road.

Not only imposing restrictions on external vehicles, but traffic redirection is also implemented within the area, such as on Jalan Bakung Sari. The intersection on this road leading to the beach is closed, and the flow to Kuta Beach is redirected east towards Jalan Raya Kuta.

"People heading to Kuta Beach are advised to park their vehicles in central parking or designated parking pockets and walk," advised Wisnu.

He said this scheme would start to be implemented on Dec. 31, 2023, at 3:00 PM local time until the traffic eases. In this scheme, only four-wheeled vehicles are regulated, while two-wheeled vehicles can still pass.

Tourist Surge to Nusa Penida

The Harbor Master and Port Authority Office (KSOP) of Benoa Harbor, overseeing the operations of the Sanur Harbor, recorded a total of 78,000 passenger movements from Denpasar crossing to Nusa Penida Island during the Christmas and New Year holidays from Dec. 23 to Dec. 30, 2023.

I Ketut Suratnata, Head of the Working Area of the Sanur Harbor KSOP Benoa, stated that passenger movement began to increase on Dec. 23, 2023.

Currently, passenger transport at the Sanur Harbor is served by 57 fast boat fleets, supplemented by 15-18 reserve fast boats scattered in Nusa Penida, Nusa Lembongan, Kusamba, and Serangan, owned by operators or fast boat companies operating in the harbor.

From December 23 to December 30, 2023, the daily average passenger traffic facilitated by Sanur Harbor from Denpasar to Nusa Penida and Nusa Lembongan, located in Klungkung Regency, reached 9,750 people, marking a twofold increase compared to the regular daily average of 4,000 people.

Source: https://jakartaglobe.id/news/countdown-to-chaos-bali-prepares-for-new-years-eve-traffi