You Shall Not Pass: Cars barred from Umalas-Berawa shortcut in bid to tackle congestion

The Batu Sari Alley (also known as Umalas-Berawa shortcut). Credit: Tibubeneng Village.
The Batu Sari Alley (also known as Umalas-Berawa shortcut). Credit: Tibubeneng Village.

In a bold move to combat the growing menace of traffic congestion, the picturesque village of Tibubeneng in Badung has banned cars from entering the notorious Gang Batu Sari (Batu Sari Alley), also known as the Umalas-Berawa shortcut.

The scenic shortcut, a favorite among locals and tourists alike, has recently become a bottleneck, causing distressing traffic snarls. The Tibubeneng Village administration, in a bid to untangle this mess, plans to create concrete barriers so that only motorbikes can get through the narrow alleyway.

Tegal Gundul Subdistrict Chief I Wayan Suryanta explained that the Batu Sari Alley is extremely narrow, and that the presence of cars often caused traffic jams.

“So, currently, the best decision is to prohibit cars from passing through to address the congestion,” he said yesterday as quoted by DetikBali.

Tibubeneng’s jewel, Berawa Beach, as well as tourist hotspots like Canggu, Batu Bolong Beach, and Cemangi beach, have long been a magnet for sunseekers, both local and foreign. However, the spike in tourists has also heralded the surge in tailbacks, such as those often seen on the Umalas-Berawa shortcut.

Despite local authorities’ earlier attempts at traffic engineering and control, the snarl-ups persisted like an unwelcome guest.

“We will install concrete barriers at the entrance of that road bridge. So only motorcycles can pass through,” Wayan added.

Tibubebeng Village’s official Instagram account yesterday uploaded the car prohibition announcement at Batu Sari Alley, with commenters mostly agreeing that it was about time. According to the announcement, exceptions are made for people who reside in the area (including taxi drivers taking their customers home).

A few months ago, local officials also revamped another popular shortcut, Subak Sari Road, known colloquially as “Mango Alley”, and barred cars from passing through the small road.

In a battle against congestion, Tibubeneng’s latest approach could be a game-changer. With cars sidelined, and only motorbikes gracing the Batu Sari Alley, time will tell if this measure will pave the way for smoother traffic flows or if further traffic tangles await down the road.

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