Jl Legian Joins the Car-Free Club

KUTA

Jl Legian at Kuta has joined Bali’s burgeoning car-free zones — already in use in Denpasar — with a ban on vehicles from 10pm Saturdays to 5am Sundays. It came into operation last weekend.

The one-way Kuta-bound section of the road is now closed to traffic in car-free hours over a one-kilometre stretch to Bemo Corner at the Jl Pantai intersection. Motorbikes are also banned during the car-free period but people on pushbikes are still able to use the road.

The car-free time was the brainchild of Kuta Police chief Gede Ganefo, who said this week:

“We will evaluate this programme with the district officials and community leaders in Kuta. If the people are happy, if they feel positive about it, we might expand to other nights as well.”

Last Saturday night’s premiere closure was controlled by 100 police and 50 pecalang (traditional village guards). Police are advertising the new arrangements with banners around Kuta, the most prominent of which is at Bemo Corner.

Meanwhile, Denpasar city council is more than doubling its bike path network by adding 25 kilometres of bike paths in the tourist area of Sanur — on Jl Merdeka and Jl Danau Bratan.

City transportation manager I Gede Astika said the new bike paths were chosen because they were popular with tourists who used pushbikes.

“We see many foreign and domestic tourists who like to cycle around Sanur. In order to make cycling more enjoyable we are making more bike paths,” he said.

He would not say how much the city government had budgeted for the project. “The funds allocated match our (city government) capabilities. The creation of new bike paths will be done in phases as the funds become available,” he said.

The new 25-kilometre network supplements the existing 30 kilometres in Denpasar itself, stretching from Renon to Jl Sudirman and Jl Kambodja. That project cost Rp130 million (US$14,300).

Bali’s bike paths are not separate from the road as in other places, but are simply reserved kerbside lanes marked off by white lines.

Motorcyclists, who habitually ignore all traffic regulations, use them as well.

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