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Police Explanation regarding Severe Congestion on the Bali Mandara Toll Road, Residents Are Forced to Walk to the Airport

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The social media buzzed with videos showcasing severe traffic congestion on the Bali Mandara Toll Road heading to I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport in Tuban, Badung, Bali. In a video posted by the instagram account @balithisweek on Friday (29/12/2023), numerous cars were seen stuck in a standstill, with some passengers choosing to exit their vehicles and walk, carrying their bags or suitcases.

According to the uploader, this level of congestion on the Bali Mandara Toll Road was unprecedented. The account mentioned, “Perhaps this is the first time I’ve seen the Bali Mandara toll road this crowded, with passengers getting off just to make it to the airport… crazy, it’s still far away,” indicating the severity of the situation. So, what caused this traffic jam?

The Bali Regional Police Public Relations Division Chief, Commissioner Pol Jansen Aviatus Panjaitan, confirmed the traffic congestion on the road leading to Ngurah Rai Airport on Friday. The bottleneck resulted from the accumulation of vehicles entering the airport area. “The cause is the density of vehicles entering IGN (I Gusti Ngurah Rai) Airport, resulting in congestion,” said Jansen to Kompas.com on Saturday (30/12/2023).

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To address the congestion, they have coordinated with Angkasa Pura, the aviation service provider. This collaboration aims to streamline traffic flow at the entrances and exits of Ngurah Rai Airport and the surrounding areas. Jansen explained, “Whether it’s picking up or dropping off passengers, we’re also increasing personnel and implementing road closures.”

Police Explanation regarding Severe Congestion on the Bali Mandara Toll Road, Residents Are Forced to Walk to the Airport
Police Explanation regarding Severe Congestion on the Bali Mandara Toll Road, Residents Are Forced to Walk to the Airport 2

According to Jansen, they will implement a road closure system based on the road conditions. “Most importantly, we request cooperation from road users to remain orderly and adhere to traffic officers’ instructions,” he added. He also urged road users to leverage technology for real-time traffic information to monitor and anticipate congestion.

As of Saturday (30/12/2023), Jansen stated that the roads around Ngurah Rai Airport had returned to normal. Meanwhile, Handy Heryudhitiawan, the General Manager of Ngurah Rai Airport, mentioned that they have opened access for two-wheeled vehicles for passengers up to the departure area.

They have also provided ride-hailing motorcycles and two-wheeled vehicles to assist passengers with luggage and elderly passengers, as reported by Kompas TV on Saturday (30/12/2023). Therefore, traffic engineering has been implemented for two-wheeled vehicles on the road to the airport. Earlier, the Head of the Bali Transportation Agency, IGW Samsi Gunarta, admitted that they were late in addressing the potential congestion on the road.

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He assured that such an incident would not happen again. “Yesterday, we were a bit late in implementing intensive handling, so the airport filled up quickly. Today, we’re trying to do better; we’re improving the threshold indicator,” said Samsi, as quoted from Kompas TV on Saturday (30/12/2023). Hence, they have prepared a traffic management scheme as a short-term solution.

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