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November 30, 2010

car free day at kuta Bali

Sunday, 28 November 2010
Kuta launches weekly car-free period
Desy Nurhayati, The Jakarta Post, Denpasar | Mon, 11/29/2010 11:41 AM | Bali

Jl. Legian was visibly different on Saturday night as tourists and locals roamed freely during the first ever car-free period along the street, which usually has bumper to bumper traffic.

Visitors were seen walking and gathering at the crowded night spot as the area was free of traffic and pollution from cars and motorcycles.

Jl. Legian, and Kuta in general, is known for its notorious traffic. The gridlock is worst on Saturday night when youths from Denpasar and Badung, as well as tourists, flock to the world-famous strip to taste its colorful nightlife.

From 10 p.m. to 5 a.m., the street was closed to motorized vehicles from Patik Jelantik junction, all the way down to the Bemo Corner junction.

Motorists were instructed to take an alternative route or park at the parking area in Patih Jelantik.

Among those joining the crowd were a group of 50 people from the Samas cycling club from Denpasar and Badung.

They gathered at their meeting point, the Ground Zero monument, to start an unusual night trip by bicycle around the area.

“We’re here to enjoy the different ambience in the street. This is phenomenal,” Samas Denpasar chairman Endra Datta said.

“Who would have thought that the most crowded street in Bali would be closed to vehicles,” he added.

Cyclists hailed the program as “extraordinary” and said they expected it to be a regular occurrence every Saturday night.

“We fully support this program. This area should be free of vehicles and should be dedicated to pedestrians and cyclists,” Samas Badung chairman I Made Darwi added.

He said it would be better if the vehicle-free area was expanded to other crowded streets in Kuta, referring to Kuta’s 1997 no-parking zone policy, which prohibited motorists from parking cars in several designated roads in Kuta.

The policy failed because it lacked public support. “We expect the public, tourists and residents in this area to support this new policy. This could be the start of a new, greener Kuta.”

Locals and foreign tourists also expressed pleasure with the vehiclefree zone.

“This is good. We can walk safely without cars and motorcycles around us,” Dutch tourist Ad Verhoeven, who walked around the Ground Zero monument with friends, said.

Some tourists said they were surprised, adding that they didn’t know why the road was closed.

Kristin Halvorsen from Norway said a police offi cer stopped her scooter at the junction of Jl. Legian.

“I thought there was a bomb threat or something. I was on my way from Seminyak to Poppies,” she said, laughing.

“It is good that they have this kind of activity, especially if it is for an environmental purpose makes tourists feel more comfortable and safe,” she said.

Kuta Police officers and pecalang (traditional Bali guards) were seen monitoring the street.

Kuta Police chief Adj. Comr. I Gede Ganefo said the activity was aimed at easing traffic gridlock in the tourist hub.

“We will conduct a car-free period every Saturday night in this area and we will continue to evaluate it to avoid any problems,” he said.


Jalan Legian, pada hari Sabtu malam tanggal 27 November 2010 tampak lain. Jalan yang biasanya sesak dan padat oleh lalu lintas kendaraan yang lewat maupun yang nge-tem, malam minggu lalu dipadati orang lalu-lalang. Hanya sesekali tampak sepeda gayung melintas.

Malam itu, atas prakarsa Kapolsek Kuta, AKP Gede Ganefo, dan bekerjasama dengan desa adat setempat, memberlakukan Car Free Day di sepanjang ruas Jalan Legian. Panjang jalan yang diberlakukan CFD adalah satu kilometer, membentang dari pertigaan Jalan Patih Jelantik, belok kiri ke Jalan Legian, melewati Ground Zero dan berakhir di pertigaan Jalan Pantai. Aktivitas ini di dukung oleh semua gerai, toko, tempat hiburan, hotel dan fasilitas lain di sepanjang jalan tersebut. Tampak malam itu beberapa petugas pecalang desa adat dan aparat kepolisian mengamati suasana.

Informasi yang saya peroleh dari Kapolsek Kuta bahwa telah disiapkan lahan parkir bagi mereka yang ingin berkunjung ke tempat hiburan di seputar Jalan Legian. Areal parkir tersebut antara lain: di wilayah Utara bertempat di Pasar Pagi Legian, Simpang Empat Legian, Lapangan Trisakti, areal depan Pura Dalem (Jl. Patih Jelantik), dan di Timur SD 3 Legian. Lokasi parkir ini dijaga dan diawacar free day at kuta Bali si oleh aparat desa adat setempat.

Pemberlakukan CFD di Jalan Legian termasuk unik. Hal ini disebabkan jadwal CFD yang berlangsung mulai malam hari yakni Sabtu jam 22.00 WITA sampai dengan hari Minggu jam 05.00 WITA. Padahal di kota-kota lain di Bali bahkan di Indonesia, diselenggarakan sejak pagi hingga siang hari.

Ada perkecualian dalam pelaksanaan CFD Legian yakni bagi kendaraan yang mengantar tamu check in maupun check out dari hotel di kawasan tersebut. Juga bagi hal-hal yang bersifat emergency, disiapkan ambulance dan mobil patroli kepolisian sektor Kuta yang siaga di Ground Zero.

Selain Jalan Legian, kawasan lainnya di seputar Kuta tetap bisa dilalui kendaraan.
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