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Sunday, March 27, 2011

Jakarta's Epidemic

Jakarta sucks..., the traffic sucks,... the pollution sucks,...  Jakarta is hell hole,... etc - is something that i hear quite often from different people in different age groups, occupation, gender, or even religion.

One evening i was driving home from north of jakarta and i was sitting patiently on a red light in a big junction, when i noticed that there was many road users that comes in different sizes, there's the Trailer-truck, buses, smaller trucks, pick up trucks, minibuses, sedans, and of course motorcycles.
What struck my mind was that at one point, there was this massive trailer who wanted to turn left, and knowing the size of it he had to make a pretty big turn on a junction that allows left-turns-go-ahead. At the time he's turning slowly there were many cars and bikes coming from the other direction and this leads to, i would say a small chaotic situation, as the truck tries to make its way, he had to battle his way with the other incoming cars that somehow didnt want to give way, and as few cars did, the motorcycles tried hard, .. i repeat "Tried Hard" to still sneak in between 50cm gaps just to be ahead of this trailer.

That whole process took maybe around 30-60 seconds at roughly around midnight-weekdays, imagine how long it will take during peak hours? this really bothers me somehow, to see the high level of in-efficiency that these road users create within the traffic. And this epidemic is spreading all over town, and it created,.. i think the most un-sustainable thing ever.

First you use more fuel because you dont drive at a constant speed, because you have to accelerate whenever someone else wants to change lanes and that you will try hard not to give that lane.
second, you will use more of your brakes, just in case that person gets your lane, or if somebody else cuts your lane. Third you will use more of your clutch (if ure driving manual) as people here tries HARD  to keep themselves very close to the car in front of them during traffic jam. Fourth you will lose patience as some nutter will push his-her way through a small gap, which have a possibilities on scratching your car or knocked your side mirrors, Fifth if you didnt end up hitting anybody or no motorcycles hits you, you will loose a bit of your time, just to fight for a lane.

So in the end your car will use more fuel, more brakes, and more clutch, and you will be pissed...

Just because,.... there are no rules, on who is allowed to go first in an open junction, T-junction, round abouts, or any intersection,...

I saw in Karawaci where they students crosses the street when the traffic light turns red and the Walking-sign turns green, they have to put TWO guards to make sure that during people crossing there are no motorcycles or minibuses jumped and drives through. And that when the cars sees that there are no people crossing EVEN when the lights are RED, they will just drive pass.

So,,... let me get it straight, so the council, or the conglomerate or whoever has the money, puts a traffic light, and a zebra-cross for people to cross the road, and after that they put 2 guards just to make sure that there are no cars driving pass,...??? why have the traffic light in the first place? just put 2 or 4 guards then?

Another example, a round about in Pondok Indah, after years and years of increasing traffic, the police experimented by putting 4 policemans in 4 corners to control the flow of the traffic, and then they or whoever decided to put a traffic light, for people to go around the round-about, and during the early months they even have the traffic lights aaaaaannnddd 4 cops! ... does anybody know the purpose of a round about? to have a junction working without using traffic light!

So after all this,... ( i dont even know what this is,..) well rant i guess,
it is proven its better to install policemans or Human beings than street signs, or traffic lights, or zebracrosses, or... no-stopping signs, etc...
but then again you have to install good quality policemans, not the one you give 1000 rups and he will stop the traffic from the MAIN road for you to go into a small alley,.... there's a reason why a MAIN road is called the MAIN road,..

Now the question is,.. who's to blame?


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