Latest Attempt at Easing Jakarta’s Traffic Congestion Meets Doubt

In its latest attempt to curb traffic in the city, the Jakarta government has banned motorbikes in a few thoroughfares in the city – a policy set to be expanded to other roads in the city.

Jakarta currently bans motorbikes on Jl. MH Thamrin and Jl. Medan Merdeka Barat in Central Jakarta under a policy that has been in place since 2014. It is now looking to apply the same rule on Jl. Sudirman, Jl. Gatot Subroto and Jl. Rasuna Said

While the policy has met fierce opposition from critics who claim cars–not motorbikes–are the main cause of congestion, the authorities are confident that the initiative will be successful as it would increase traffic velocity by more than 17 percent.

If implemented correctly, this policy might be an answer to ease Jakarta’s traffic woes. Even if it does, however, it would require other regulations and initiatives to support it and provide a comprehensive solution to the problem.

The problem of traffic congestion has continued to plague the city despite various efforts by the government to overcome the issue. In fact, a study conducted in 2015 by motor oil company Castrol identified Jakarta as the worst city in the world for traffic jams. Two years on from that study, congestion is still a daily fact of life for Jakartans.

Past measures have failed to fix the problem.

In 1991, regulators tried banning becaks or cycle rickshaws from the capital. The ban did not do much in alleviating traffic and was later removed. Another measure that had been implemented is the “three-in-one” rule, which required a car to carry at least three passengers on main thoroughfares during rush hour. The rule was revoked after it was found to have created a market for “jockeys” or paid passengers picked up along the streets, which raised legal and safety concerns.

Among the many issues surrounding the traffic, the problem needs to address city infrastructure, public transportation systems and car ownership restrictions.

 

Featured image by TODAY Online.

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