Local governments across Java have hurried to complete construction of secondary roads in an effort to reduce the crippling congestion that has come to mark the pre-Idul Fitri tradition of mudik.
The East Java local government declared on Monday, June 19, that the Surabaya-Mojokerto toll road ready for operations.
The road will accommodate the heavy flow of traffic during the mudik period, where thousands of Indonesians travel to spend Idul Fitri in their hometowns, and will remain toll free to ease congestion. Only small-sized cars will be permitted on the road, with a maximum speed of 50 kilometres per hour.
East Java Governor Soekarwo said the speed limit is designed as a safety measure, with many hazardous points along the road yet to be secured. The road itself narrows along the Sepanjang-Krian section, heightening safety concerns.
The Surabaya-Mojokerto road will be opened to the public until June 26, while the return route opens June 27 until July 3.
The 78 kilometre long Surabaya-Kertasono road also began operations this week serving as an alternative route for mudik. Authorities have suggested the road, which is open from 6.00 am to 5.00 pm, could reduce congestion by up to 30 percent.
Meanwhile, David Wijayatno, President Director at Solo Ngawi Jaya, has warned travellers along the Solo-Ngawi toll road to be cautious when using the new alternative route.
“Please be extra careful while passing the functional toll road and keep the speed of your transportation below 60 km/h. We suggest this in consideration of the fact that the lighting of the road is not as good as the main toll road and also there are many intersections connected to villages’ road,” Wijayatno said, as quoted by Liputan6.
The Solo-Ngawi road will operate the same hours as Surabaya-Kertasono and is projected to reduce congestion dramatically, with a Solo to Ngawi trip cut from the usual three hours to just 1.5.
As with most years, government services, including police, army, transport and health department officials, have been established service posts along many major roads.
Image credits: Detik