Bekasi officials considering banning on-street weddings to prevent traffic blockage

An on-street wedding venue in Indonesia. Photo: Kaskus
An on-street wedding venue in Indonesia. Photo: Kaskus

In Indonesia, it’s extremely common to see wedding parties taking place on public roads. These weddings are usually held by relatively low-income families who set up tents on the street in front of their house — thus completely blocking access for all vehicles — who can’t afford to book venues like wedding halls.

Over the weekend, Transportation Agency officials in Bekasi received complaints about two unusually long traffic jams on roads crucial to cars exiting the toll road in Pekayonjaya subdistrict and East Bekasi district. They found that in both instances, the traffic jams were caused by on-street weddings, which had blocked all access for vehicles, and a lack of alternative routes.

“Following Eid al-Adha it’s normal that many couples get married, and this situation led to traffic jams in areas that are usually used as alternative routes for motorists to escape traffic jams,” said Bekasi Transportation Agency Head Yayan Yuliana, as quoted by CNN Indonesia yesterday.

Yayan added that in both cases from last weekend, the wedding organizers failed to notify the Transportation Agency about their events, which would’ve been helpful as the agency could  have redirected traffic around the weddings.

To prevent a repeat of last weekend, the Bekasi Transportation Agency is now drawing up regulations to ban on-street weddings.

“The point is public roads cannot be used for private use, because many from the general public will be sacrificed. In the future, there must be rules preventing people from shutting off road access as they please,” Yayan said.

In Jakarta, there are also currently no regulations against on-street weddings and they are still very common on weekends. They are, more often than not, held on narrow streets with the express permission of neighborhood chiefs and the police.

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