Yeah, if you expect a 484-year old to be stricken with arthritis, osteoporosis and other ills of old age. The fact is that Jakarta is quite dysfunctional and quite unnecessarily so many-a-time.
Take, for example, traffic. Sure there are more cars than there are roads but the cause of much congestion and traffic jams often have nothing to do with infrastructure. They have to do with enforcement, or lack of, in the following areas:
1. On street parking. The city government has lately begun experimenting to get motorists to park in proper parking areas instead of half the road in the Kota area. Why experiment with it, and only why one area? This should have been enforced long ago throughout the city. It is enforceable. It is not difficult and there is no excuse for doing so.
2. Motorists who disregard the law and pursue their selfish, piggish interests. These are the mini bus or angkot drivers who cut into everyone’s lane and stop in the middle of the road to let of passengers or to wait for passengers. These are also the motorists who do not pay attention to road etiquette nor traffic lights (and why is there no yellow boxes, where you are not supposed to be caught in when the traffic light changes color, at all at intersections in jakarta?). Traffic rules are enforceable and so far there is no valid excuse for not doing so.
3. Non-enforcement of zoning regulations. Of course you will have massive traffic jams when you have hypermarkets located in busy downtown locations when they are supposed to exist only in the suburbs, precisely for the reason that they would cause massive traffic jams because of the volume of customers they attract. And outlets without proper parking spaces only result in cars parked willy nilly on the roadside (see #1). Why can’t zoning laws be enforced?
4. Maintenance and adjustment of traffic lights, so that they ensure a smooth flow of traffic. There are many junctions in which the green light goes on for only 5 seconds before a wait of a couple of minutes. Why can’t the city get this simple thing right?
And the list goes on…simple things that, if done, will result in big changes. But it does not happen. Why? Could it be the lack of accountability of officials? Or is it that Jakartans are too half-arsed to put pressure on the authorities?
The Jakarta Post | Wed, 06/22/2011 3:04 PM A | A | A |
Jakarta Governor Fauzi Bowo says the face of Jakarta is not too bad considering that the city is celebrating its 484th anniversary.
At least 54 percent of Jakartans were satisfied with the city, according to a survey, which indicated that it was progressing in a positive direction, Fauzi said.
The remarks were made at an ceremony to celebrating Jakarta’s 484th anniversary, at the National Monument complex on Wednesday.
“It’s the city administration’s responsibility to work and focus on improving any weaknesses in Jakarta,” Fauzi said.
“I can only emphasize that I work as hard as I can for Jakartans.”
Traffic jams and flood are among problems Jakarta faces on a daily basis. The administration has highlighted its achievements such as the introduction of Car-Free Day and its efforts to increase green space.