Bali Traffic

The first impression of Bali is the traffic.  Tourism has done a lot to Bali.  One unfortunate side effect is the amount of traffic, partly due to the road planning so many years ago with no expectation of this sort of movement.  Most roads are wide enough for 2 lanes, one up and one down.  Scooters (lots) and cars (smaller sedans) were everywhere vying for a way through the streets.  You won’t find big trucks or SUVs.  The roads are not big enough for them.

Our villa was about 10km and the transfer ride was about 1 hour.  At the moment, they are constructing some sort of overpass/underpass/bypass highway around the ariport.  And it needs to be completed by 2013 sometime for APEC.  So top priority is given to the completion.  The driver said the Friday morning drive to the airport was about 2 hours.

Rules?  No such thing!  But out of the no rules, there is some sort of order.  There has to be otherwise no one goes anywhere.  There is so much traffic all everyone can do is to crawl slowly.  On the bigger roads, the everyone just bunches up and somehow merge with patience.  Everyone beeps.  Sometimes to let someone know they are overtaking.  Sometimes out of frustration.  Sometimes to say thankyou.  Sometimes, passive aggressive road rage.  Another driver says beep all you want but no finger.  Giving someone the finger means you are after a fight.

Ever so often, there will also be illegal street vendors selling petrol by the bottles.  And for some reason 9 of out 10 bottles are Absolute Vodka bottles.

If you are a pedestrian, just step out at a good moment and hope for the best.  If there is a crossing, no one will stop for you.  If there is a crossing with a warden, the traffic won’t stop with the him waving his arms and blowing his whistle either.  You just have to go with the flow and step out at a good moment.

Here is a tribute to the countries where no traffic rules rule:

http://vimeo.com/32958521

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