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#32497 - 17 Sep 06 13:12 JP/Getting people out of their cars
biznews Moderator Offline
Pujangga Besar

Registered: 24 Apr 08
Posts: 7508
Loc: Jakarta
From The Jakarta Post

Getting people out of their cars

Teguh Utomo Atmoko, Jakarta

There is a tremendous effort by the city administration to make people shift from private vehicles to public transit in order to ease traffic jams and to avoid wasting time and money. Yet, in a city with a population of over 12 million by day and close to 10 million by night, set in the middle of an urbanized region of about 25 million, most people still rely on private vehicles to get around. Grand efforts are underway to ease transportation problems in the metropolis. These include busways, a monorail, subways and commuter trains. Will this make people shift to public transport? It depends.

There is a trend toward people moving back into the center of the city and living in apartment buildings. More and more apartment buildings are being constructed in the inner city area and more and more units are owner occupied. Ideally, these inner city apartment dwellers would be within walking distance of their places of work and other frequent destinations. In reality, however, not everybody is so conveniently located to these everyday destinations; therefore, they need some form of transportation to these places.

Transporting people is not just about moving them from one station, terminal or bus stop to another. It is about transporting people from their original location, such as a home, shop or office, to their final destination. On top of that, there is a need to provide a service for those who have multiple destinations.

Melbourne and Miami, for example, each have a free local public transit system that covers their rather large but compact downtown areas. Melbourne is famous for its free street car downtown shuttles. Miami downtowners are free to use the monorail within the downtown area. In the case of larger downtown areas like Manhattan, New York, the famous yellow cabs are happy to serve downtowners. Moving them around the island for a price, they are rather reluctant to take you to the suburbs during busy hours. In Sydney the daily, weekly and monthly mass transit ticket is the solution for the journey between home and work as well as for moving about within the city center.

So far the grand design of the Greater Jakarta public transit system (if there is any) appears only to address transporting people from one point to another and not from the person's place of origin to their final destination. The abysmal condition of the city's existing sidewalks is clear evidence of this. Poor urban design also aggravates the situation.

The majority of buildings in Jakarta are not pedestrian friendly and are very poorly related to sidewalks. People need to ride in vehicles from one building entrance to another, as if they were in the suburbs. Buildings are situated like villas, only now the lot size is drastically reduced. Even a shop-house is required to be set back from the road and sidewalks. Large buildings like shopping plazas, such as Plaza Indonesia, often are turned away from the sidewalks. Perhaps Jakarta is the only world class city that has this kind of urban design. If, in the 1970s, Jakarta's nickname was "the big village", perhaps today it should be "the big, overcrowded and congested suburb".

To seduce people into leaving their vehicles at home and use public transportation is not just a matter of building a public transit system. There is a need to provide ways for people to travel around within an urban area too large to navigate solely by walking. In addition to the provision of good sidewalks, the city's urban design, especially near the centers of urban activities, should be pedestrian friendly with buildings open to and facing the sidewalks. Sidewalks need to be changed and improved to be on par with other world class cities that have sidewalks which function well, and are clean, and safe. It's equally important that sidewalks be well connected to people's place of origin and destination.

This task does not just fall on the people responsible for transportation provision. Other related city agencies, and not just the city transportation agency, must contribute their efforts and expertise, especially the town planning office, the urban design issues agency (Dinas Tata Kota), and the city parks agency which is responsible for parks and sidewalks. Otherwise people will always stays in their vehicles, and money spent for development of public transit will be wasted. So, Jakartans, prepare to pay for the shortfall of monorail development.

The writer is a lecturer at the Department of Architecture, Engineering School, University of Indonesia. He can be reached at
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#32498 - 18 Sep 06 00:03 Re: JP/Getting people out of their cars
D'ruby Offline

Registered: 13 Feb 06
Posts: 2177
Loc: My
Back to becak?
I wanna be Samantha, but I am so Carrie

#32499 - 18 Sep 06 13:49 Re: JP/Getting people out of their cars
chewwyUK Offline

Registered: 14 Sep 06
Posts: 2392
Loc: Jakarta
Can anybody ever see a time when Jakarta sorts out the problem. I mean to sort the issue out they need to scrap all the old broken down bus, register Ojek and Bajij driver (and enforce standards), buid sidewalks, bring in congestion charging .... re-design the flow of traffic in Jakarta. I cant ever see any of this working as too much money will go missing and nobody seems to enforce any traffic laws ... IMHO its fucked and going to get a lot worse
Edited by Piss Salon
Edit Reason: taste

#32500 - 18 Sep 06 14:18 Re: JP/Getting people out of their cars
burning sambuca Offline

Registered: 18 Sep 06
Posts: 9
Loc: Jakarta
Before you guys coming to jakarta you already know is a shit country, why on earth u wasting your time to think about their problems? they are not even trying to fixed it.. just enjoy your time

#32501 - 18 Sep 06 14:52 Re: JP/Getting people out of their cars
chewwyUK Offline

Registered: 14 Sep 06
Posts: 2392
Loc: Jakarta
I guess because some of "us guys" dont see it as a them and us situation. I enjoy my time here but also would like to contribute to the country I live in and help if i can rather than just take what i can from indonesia while giving nothing back.
Edited by Piss Salon
Edit Reason: taste

#32502 - 18 Sep 06 15:18 Re: JP/Getting people out of their cars
cherry-picker Offline

Registered: 18 Sep 06
Posts: 26
Loc: Jakarta
What Teguh is writing (above) is .... well, starry-eyed ... the JK administration doesn't give a hoot about people! Sutiyoso is a dastardly figure, about whom I heard the most disgusting things!

And here's what ParasIndo says about the wonderful city admin .... LISTEN UP!

The Jakarta city administration's effort to reduce traffic congestion by requiring private cars to have at least three occupants when traveling on major thoroughfares during peak traffic hours has for years been a joke because they can simply hire "jockeys" - youths and women standing at the entrances to the restricted zones - to make up the numbers. Crackdowns on jockeys are rare - but rather than punish the motorists who hire them, municipal public order officials prefer to go after the easier targets.

In the most recent case of abuse the victim was an unemployed woman, Sugiharti (36), who was carrying her infant daughter Susan while standing on Jalan Imam Bonjol, waiting for a motorist to pay her a few thousand rupiah to become a part-time passenger. But the vehicle that stopped for her on September 5 contained members of the SATPOL PP (Municipal Police Unit - Satuan Polisi Pamong Praja), who roughly apprehended the mother and child. The officials then decided to punish Sugiharti by shaving off all of her hair.

During the raid, the officials nabbed seven other jockeys. Sugiharti said the officials behaved like drunkards, chasing the jockeys as if they were animals, before subjecting them to kicks and punches. The mother and daughter were subsequently detained for nine days at the Kedoya Women's Social Rehabilitation Center in West Jakarta. The place is usually used to detain street prostitutes or destitute women and beggars caught without city residency cards.

"I heard the Kedoya Center official complain about the 'latest consignment from Menteng'. There are always some people [from there] who are casualties of violence," said Sugiharti.

Upon her release, she made a complaint at the Jakarta office of the Legal Aid Association (LBH). "I was shaved bald in front of my child. I did not have the power to resist. My child cried hysterically upon seeing her mother treated like that. My cheeks were also slapped," she was quoted as saying Thursday (14/9/06) by detikcom online news portal.

She said she had long worked as a jockey on Jalan Imam Bonjol in order to help her family make ends meet. These days jockeys can be paid up to Rp10,000 for helping motorists to beat the traffic.

Sugiharti said that when the raid occurred, she tried to run away; but carrying her child, she was no match for the fleet-footed SATPOL PP. Before being taken to the Kedoya center, she was brought to Menteng Subdistrict Office, where she was slapped and shaved.

When filing her complaint at the LBH office, she removed a scarf to reveal her mottled scalp. "In fact, my hair used to reach my shoulders. This is a matter of self-esteem. I'm now embarrassed to socialize with my neighbors," she said. She and her neighbors live under a bridge at the city's Cikini railway station.

Sugiharti's lawyer Hermawanto responded quickly to the report and filed a complaint at Jakarta Police headquarters. "Today we will also go to the [Menteng] Regional Police. This is a criminal case involving abusive action," he said.

The lawyer also said there were strong indications the public order officials had violated laws on human rights and the protection of children by detaining Susan for nine days. "She was detained with her mother for nine days at the Kedoya Social Center for nine days. Susan was treated as an adult."

Hermawanto criticized Municipal Regulation No.11/1988, which enables city officials to round up and arrest jockeys and other impoverished people. He said the policy was merely an effort by the city administration to camouflage the root cause of the city's social problems - poverty. "This Municipal Regulation is a hellish regulation for Jakarta's poor. We will continue to campaign for regulations of this kind to be revoked," he said.

Regulation No.11/1988 also prohibits people from living along riverbanks, under flyover bridges or near railway tracks. Homeless and landless people who build shelters in these areas face three to six months imprisonment or monetary fines.

Jakarta Governor Sutiyoso has defended the policy, saying it is needed to clean up the city.
Strength and a beautiful sound like in the tautness of a bow;
I want to live like this until the day I die!

-- from Kim Ki-duk's film The Bow (2005)


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