Weekly 5: Pedestrian safe havens in a traffic-riddled city

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It is hard to find a sidewalk in Jakarta that is wide or safe enough for pedestrians, free of the dangers of tripping over chipped corn blocks or falling into open sewer holes due to the metal lids being stolen.

Recently, the Jakarta administration began to plan to build sidewalks adjacent to all roads by the end of next year and also to beautify existing sidewalks along the main thoroughfares.

Here are five decent — but short — sidewalks that pedestrians can still enjoy.

Jl. Tomang Raya, West Jakarta

Rush hour traffic in the area is among the worst in the city. With initially three lanes for each direction, one was designated for the Transjakarta buses.

Yet, pedestrians crossing this road can enjoy the space to walk without the anxiety of getting hit by passing vehicles.

More trees need to be planted so that pedestrians can get more shade.

Jl. HR Rasuna Said, South Jakarta

Better known as the Kuningan area, this road is known for its embassies and international organization offices. No wonder the roads and sidewalks here are well maintained. Some are lined with trees, some are yet to be, but pedestrians can walk safely here.

Menteng, Central Jakarta

Walking along Jakarta’s main streets is usually tough and uncomfortable due to the poor condition of the sidewalks and occasional disturbances from motorcyclists.

The sidewalks on Jl. HOS Cokroaminoto in Menteng, Central Jakarta, are an exception. Especially in front of Taman Menteng, the sidewalks are wide enough for people walking in groups of three or four.

Pedestrians can also enjoy a more comfortable walking experience since the sidewalks are covered by rows of trees that shield them from the heat of Jakarta’s cruel sun. Along the road, small stalls show off a more uniformed look with a classy black and white color combination.

Jl. MT Haryono, South Jakarta

The newly renovated sidewalks on Jl. Gatot Subroto and Jl. MT. Haryono in South Jakarta have given a new face to streets known for being packed with cars and motorcycles during peak traffic hours.

In addition to being widened, the sidewalks have been equipped with yellow serrated lines for disabled people.

The city administration has also planted mango trees along the sidewalks in a bid to provide more comfort for pedestrians.

If you are tired when walking, many garden-style chairs are also available to recharge your batteries.

Sudirman Central Business District (SCBD), South Jakarta

“SCBD is a heaven on earth for pedestrians,” Bunga Pertiwi, 30, said.

“Amid Jakarta’s heaving traffic, it reflects a modern city that respects its pedestrians, with comfortable sidewalks and adequate zebra crossings, along with rule-abiding motorists that somehow seem hesitant to break the rules there,” said the employee of a private company nearby.

The so-called “heaven on earth” used to be a slum area until tycoon Tomy Winata’s PT Danayasa Arthatama Tbk developed a business district there in 1993.

It occupies a 45-hectare area, 13 hectares of which are allocated as parking areas.

Tomy reportedly dreamed of developing the district into the “Manhattan of Indonesia” and wanted it to be the country’s best commercial district. Whether or not he can achieve that dream, the district is undoubtedly Jakarta’s role model as a pedestrian-friendly area. — JP


Sumber : http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2013/10/18/weekly-5-pedestrian-safe-havens-a-traffic-riddled-city.html

The Jakarta Post | Jakarta | Fri, October 18 2013, 8:17 AM