Alistair Speirs: My Journey to WorkOpinion
For those of you who are regular readers of this magazine you will know I regularly rant on about the traffic and how it adversely affects our lives, and try, in a very small way, to suggest things that could be done to improve our daily slog to and from work.
We started the “My Journey to Work” column, hoping that many of you will be able to shed light on the obvious, simple and inexpensive things that could be done that we see from our car or motorbike every day. We are still working on that series and will be back with more practical input next month.
In the meantime I was recently reminded that I had suggested – and roughly planned – a one-way system for South Jakarta which I had the opportunity to present to President Joko Widodo when he was Governor of Jakarta. This came up again in a conversation about Jalan Fatmawati which is planned to be closed from February 4th to August 11th 2017, which will be a serious disaster, not only for Fatmawati businesses but for the rest of Jakarta as well.
The plan includes re-routing traffic to Jalan Antasari (which is already overloaded and has bottlenecks at both ends) and Jalan Radio Dalam (horrible), Jalan Cipete Raya (a nightmare), Jalan Terogong Raya (where JIS traffic completely fills the street at peak hours), etc., etc. You can see the plan in the map.
All good on paper, as are most plans from desk bound bureaucrats, but in practice will paralyse South Jakarta for six months, affecting lives and businesses, some irreparably.
The only way to avert this mind-blogging, man-made catastrophe is to put the one way system into place NOW!
Will it work? Of course not perfectly because it will still require people not to park stupidly, not to stop wherever they want, to be disciplined and courteous. But it will certainly be better than the poorly thought out plan that is proposed.
When added to the existing horror on Jalan Simatupang westbound every morning due to the elevated section of the MRT construction, people working in the area might as well resign now and move to Bandung. It will be easier to get there and back every day than to traverse South Jakarta.
Anyway, Governor Joko Widodo didn’t listen to me, so I guess the current stand-in Governor won’t either, so buy your house in Bandung or more closer to work. We have a probable nightmare about to start.