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Hurry Up and Wait

While Baliís Mandara Toll Road Reaps High Praise, the Three Access Points to the Roadway are Plagued by Congestion and Delays

(9/27/2013) Just two days after the opening of Bali’s Mandara Toll Road it has become painfully apparent that bottlenecks and tailbacks at each of the three access points for the new road are likely to be an unwanted “bonus” from the much lauded roadway.

DenPost reports that on Wednesday, September 25, 2013, traffic from Taman Griya to Kedonganan was moving smoothly. It was a different story, however, at the roundabout near Bali’s airport where long lines of traffic in several directions were observed. Cars entering the circle drive from Denpasar, Nusa Dua, the new Toll Way and the Airport without aid of a traffic light sought to outmaneuver each other, resulting in massive traffic snarls.

Police on duty at the roundabout eventually took the matter in hand, directing traffic by hand, alternating flows of vehicles to relieve congestion. Despite their best efforts, however, long delays for traffic moving in all directions were the rule.

Delays and congested traffic were also found at the southern entrance to the new toll road at Nusa Dua. There a traffic light installed to assist traffic flows did little to prevent long lines of traffic from forming in either direction, north or south.

Similarly, the traffic light operating at the intersection leading to the Benoa entrance to the toll road also did little to alleviated long tailbacks from the Sesetan intersection stretching almost one kilometer in the direction of the toll road. Motorist sped at record speeds from Nusa Dua to Sanur only to then lose the time saved waiting to rejoin the Jalan Ngurah Rai By Pass at the Sesetan intersection.

One local citizen in Kedonganan, Nyoman Sukirta, who is also a Badung legislator, suggests the government  must construct a flyover to speed traffic traveling from Nusa Dua to Denpasar. Such a flyover, he explained, would allow vehicles exiting the toll and bound for the airport to pass unhindered on the road beneath the flyover.

Another man, Made Ardika, who lives in Denpasar but works in Jimbaran, spoke to DenPost and echoed Sukirta’s statements. Ardika said that without adding a flyover at the airport entrance to the toll road the purpose of the new road would be defeated as people travelled quickly to the airport only to face long delays at the airport roundabout.

Ardika added: “The people prayed that the toll road would reduce traffic jams. Let’s not allow it to only move the location of the traffic jams.”