Image: Couple tumbling off the shortcut. Credit: wowshack.com

The Canggu shortcut is an unfortunate example of what is happening overall in the now popular tourist hotspot on the west coast of Bali. The narrow and often beaten road is always choked with tourist and resident vehicles, every day resulting in traffic jams and often accidents on the road.

According to local leaders, the infrastructure is not in step with the large number of vehicles in the area and as yet the narrow shortcut road hasn’t been widened. Because of this there are many accidents and traffic jams on several roads in the Canggu area. For example, during the New Year celebrations, Canggu traffic was totally jammed as all roads were full of two and four wheeled vehicles.

This was stated by the Head of Canggu Village, I Nengah Lana, to the Head of Badung Regional House of Representatives (DPRD), I Putu Parwata, earlier this week. He also told him that the fact that Canggu has become a major tourism destination is now proven by the many restaurants, villas and hotels that now run their businesses in the area.

He even estimated that over 30 percent of the Badung government’s income came from the Canggu and North Kuta areas.

“30 to 35 percent of the Badung district’s income now comes from this area. This is why we need to consider infrastructure improvements in Canggu,” Nengah Lana said to tribunnews.com.

He also said that the supporting infrastructure for tourism in Canggu was yet not sufficient, because there are very few improvements in roads, sidewalks, street lighting and other infrastructural needs being done.

“We have made a list of 250 points including road, sidewalk and street lighting measures that need to be improved in our villages and we have submitted that proposal to Badung. Hopefully, it can be realized as soon as possible to maintain tourist safety and comfort in Canggu,” he said.

The traffic jams in Canggu (Batubulong) and Tibubeneng (Berawa) often occurred on the shortcut between the two areas. The shortcut that was originally a subak (rice field irrigation) road is now being used every day and night by residents and tourists alike.

“The shortcut between Canggu and Tibubeneng should be widened and repaired, because traffic jams often occurred there. If we close it, it would cause worse traffic jams in other areas,” he explained while saying that the shortcut widening proposal was already submitted in 2016, but as yet has seen very little improvement.

He said they realized that the public roads in the area cannot be widened more, which is why the banjar only wants for now the shortcut widened. They have communicated with landowners about the project, too.

“I have told several landowners that the shortcut will be widened, but there has been no improvement until now. We hope it can be fixed quickly to avoid further traffic jams,” he explained.

In response, the Head of Badung DPRD, I Putu Parwata, ensured that the government will set the development of supporting infrastructure for tourism in the Canggu and Tibubeneng areas as a priority in 2020. “We will prioritize the management of Canggu area in the Regional Budget of 2020. I will monitor this because Canggu and Tibubeneng has become a major tourist destination in Bali,” he concluded.

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