The Jakarta administration’s plan to expand the ban on motorcycles to more of the city’s main thoroughfares has been greeted with strong opposition by parties who see it as an illogical policy which could in fact worsen the capital’s traffic woes.
Motorcycles are already banned in the city from Jalan Medan Merdeka all the way to Jalan MH Thamrin. The ban expansion, the trial for which is scheduled to start on September 12, will see motorcycles also banned from Jl. Sudirman, Jl. Gatot Subroto and Jl. Rasuna Said.
The move, which is part of the administration’s attempt to reduce traffic, has been criticized by the Road Safety Association which laments the fact that the administration has failed to offer a decent alternative mode of transportation for motorcyclist.
“This ban is a panic policy from the administration because it has not been able to provide a secure, comfortable, safe, on-time and affordable public transportation,” Road Safety Association Chairman Ivan Virnanda on Sunday, Sept. 3, as quoted by Kompas.com.
Likewise, the Jakarta Transportation Council (DTKJ) argues that widening motorcycle bans in the city would lead people to switch to using private cars instead of public transportation, which would worsen traffic conditions.
Meanwhile, the Jakarta Legal Aid Institute (LBH) has also voiced its opposition against the policy, as it believes that motorcycles are not the main cause of traffic jams. The policy, it argues, has not undergone any prior comprehensive study, as previous studies have shown that banning motorcycles will not ease traffic.
“This is a policy which we think is illogical. Our logic tells us that the ones that causes traffic jams are actually the bigger vehicles,” Jakarta LBH Director Alghiffari Aqsa said.
Head of the Jakarta Residents Forum, Azas Tigor Nainggolan, urged the administration to firstly focus on providing better public transportation services before imposing any vehicle bans.
“Let’s provide good mass transportation first and then issue a policy on the use of private vehicles such as cars and motorbikes,” Tigor said on Monday.
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