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Ubud Desperate for Parking Space

23 April 2013

As the influx of people ó in their private vehicles and tour buses ó continues into the once peaceful village of Ubud in Gianyar Bali traffic is worsening and residents, and visitors, scramble for parking spaces.

Administration, economic and development assistant at Gianyar regional administration, shared with Media that the local administration struggled to find suitable areas to develop into parking sites. Previously, we had planned to build a parking center near Banjar Abangan in Peliatan village, but the local community rejected the idea on the grounds that it would create environmental problems, including noise and pollution.

More importantly, the planned parking site in Banjar Abangan lies next to the sacred Pura Gunung Sari and Pura Bukit Temples. A parking lot would disturb the spiritual, harmonious, balance of these sacred locations. Large-bodied tour buses can be directed to an existing parking site at Ubud Traditional Market in Singakerta village. The market lies some 5 kilometers meters from downtown Ubud and at one time accommodated souvenir and handicraft traders from Ubudís main market while it was undergoing renovation. The parking lot can accommodate 125 40-seat capacity buses.

According to the plan, the large buses will be prohibited from passing Ubudís narrow roads and will be required to park at Singakerta parking site. Visitors will then take smaller buses, such as minibuses or shuttle minibuses, to areas in Ubud. It is hoped that the plan would ease the chronic traffic congestion in Ubud and the neighboring villages.

This solution, however, presented the local administration with one difficult problem: Who would be responsible for providing and maintaining the fleet of minibuses? It is likely that bus companies and private investors .would be reluctant to invest money on a fleet without a good return. A cost sharing scheme between the local administration and the bus companies would be an ideal answer, however this would mean months of negotiations between the parties.

Tourists staying nearby, in Sayan, Mambal, Mas or other villages, would also be required to take small vehicles or shuttle minibuses to the center of Ubud village. The local administration is currently working toward setting up a collaborative scheme with mini bus owners and the traffic police to regulate traffic in Ubud. Meanwhile, head of Ubud II traditional market, admitted that the village and the community had allowed he administration to use a plot of land within the marketís complex as a parking site.

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