Thursday, January 18, 2007

'It is unfair to blame only the motorcyclists'

The Jakarta Post, Thursday, January 18, 2007

Millions of people use motorcycles to beat the traffic, but now the city administration is talking about banning motorbikes from main roads during rush hour. The Jakarta Post asked people about the idea of banning motorcycles from thoroughfares, and whether such a move was fair considering the administration has not offered motorcyclists any alternatives.

Cepi Setiadi, is a journalist who works in South Jakarta:

I can see the impact of the decision to relegate motorcycles to the left lane. Motorcyclists are now more careful on the streets. This is a good development and needs to be maintained. Though it slows motorcyclists a bit, that's not really a big problem as long as it reduces the risk of traffic accidents in the city and creates a culture of discipline among motorcyclists.

However, banning motorcyclists from main roads during peak hours is unrealistic. Main roads such as JL. Thamrin and Jl. Sudirman are vital for thousands of middle-class workers, many of whom use motorcycles. The city government should first provide affordable public transportation before banning motorcyclists from the area.

Motorcycles are right now the best and cheapest way to get around in the city. I think this plan is too discriminative against motorcyclists. Why don't they ban cars as well? This also shows that the government's three-in-one program is not working, so they are just trying to look for a scapegoat. It is unfair to blame only the motorcyclists.

Rahman Dako, works at a non-governmental organization. He lives in Mampang Prapatan, South Jakarta.
Banning motorcycles from main streets during peak hours would only create another problem. These are people who make a living by using the city's roads; they aren't out there for fun. If the government bans them, they need to provide them alternatives. The busway might be one alternative, but the fare is getting higher and higher.

This shows the inconsistency of government policy. In my opinion, motorcyclists have the right to use main roads. In developed countries even bicycles have their own lane. I think the root of the problem is the government's attitude, rather than the attitude of the people.

Why doesn't the city government ban cars or at least limit the number of cars manufactured here or imported.

-The Jakarta Post-

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