Less than two months after its high-profile introduction, Car Free Nights every Saturday night introduced on a section of Jalan Legian in Kuta has been halted.
NusaBali reports the closing is due to "miscommunication" with the local community banned from bringing their vehicles into the area on Saturday nights, compelling residents to park at considerable distance from the homes and businesses. Additionally, there were numerous complaints of badly behaved and drunken tourists who brought celebrations from local pubs and nightspots onto the street, frightening the local populace.
The former traditional head (Bendesa Adat) of Kuta, I Gusti Ketut Sudira, told a public forum that the execution of the Car Free Night was imperfect, at best, with many cars and motorcycles penetrating the area. Sudira said a better operational concept is needed for the "Car Free Night" to succeed.
The District Head (Camat) for Kuta, I Nyoman Suendi, told the forum that the Car Free Night which lasted only for seven weeks was impeded by a lack of infrastructure and manpower needed to make the project a success. More guard and physical barriers controlling access to the "pedestrian-only area" are needed to make the project viable, according to Suendi.
It remains unclear if police or local administrators will revisit the introduction of Car Free Nights in Kuta or allow the project to become a footnote in the history of Kuta's continuing attempts to deal with its burgeoning tourism development.
[Reclaiming the Streets of Kuta]
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