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Paved Paradise & Put up a Parking Lot

Bali Transportation Chief Warns: Chronic Traffic Congestion Just 5 Years Away


Bali News: Paved Paradise & Put up a Parking Lot
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(6/19/2011)

Five year into the future, Bali may be experiencing total gridlock. With annual vehicular growth of 12.28% trailed by a much-lower growth rate of only 2.45% in new road construction, Bali is threatened with eventually becoming a large parking lot, so crowded with cars and motorbikes that no ones going anywhere.

“Five years in the future, Bali will experience total gridlock on its main roads,” warned the head of Bali’s Transportation, Information and Communication Department, Made Santha, quoted in Bisnis Bali in a coordination meeting on licensing and permit issuance as a means of improving service in the transportation, information and communication sectors.

Santha admitted that detailed calculations on the coming total traffic jam are not yet in hand. But, if viewed only from the perspective of the number of vehicles operating in Bali now exceeding 2 million units and growing at 12.48% per year, space on the roads for new vehicles is certain to soon outpace the road capacity that is growing at the much lower rate of 2.28% per year.

Made Santha decried the growing traffic chaos in Bali, blaming the difficulties in acquiring land for the construction of new roads or the expansion of existing ones. He also cited the rapid growth of tourism that is growing at more than 12% per year and is putting added pressure on the road system. “If you look at all the factors in the field, within 5 years Bali will experience a severe traffic congestion problem.

He also said the growth in street traffic in Bali is not unconnected from the poor quality of public transport which compels people to purchase their own vehicles. “The government cannot close their eyes to this problem,” Santha admonished.

Saying the problem of traffic congestion will only be solved over time and through coordination between the central government, provincial and regional administrations. Santha said the soon-to-be-implemented Trans-Sarbagita bus system represents a  step in the right direction.



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