Since late September, Jakarta has opened a couple of new dedicated bicycle lanes in the city, with more set to open next month. Trial runs are still being carried out on the new lanes, but as soon as they are officially operational, there will be rules to obey for motorists.
Jakarta Metro Police’s Traffic Department Law Enforcement Sub-division Head Muhammad Nasir recently issued a public reminder that existing traffic laws regulate that cars and motorcycles are prohibited from entering bike lanes.
“The penalty will be in full effect when the bike lanes are made permanent with the traffic signs mounted. The bike lanes will be equipped with signs and road markings, as long as they’re there, police may ticket the offender,” Nasir told Kompas.
Nasir said that offenders will be charged with violating Article 287 of the Law of Traffic and Road Transport, which prohibits violating traffic signs. The article carries a maximum sentence of two months in prison or a IDR500,000 (US$35.34) fine.
Rights of cyclists on the road are also stated in the law, including the need to be prioritized by drivers of motorized vehicles.
Nasir’s statement is probably a necessary reminder for Jakartans, given that many of the city’s old bike lanes are no longer serving their intended purpose. For example, some existing bike lanes, such as those on the streets of Blok M that were built in 2011, have long been ignored and used by drivers as parking spots instead.
This year, the Jakarta city administration has targeted to build 63 kilometers of dedicated bike lanes to encourage residents to exercise while reducing the capital’s notorious traffic congestion. The policy was outlined in a Gubernatorial Instruction (Ingub) issued by Governor Anies.
Jakarta opened new bike lanes late last month, covering the streets of Medan Merdeka Selatan, MH Thamrin, Imam Bonjol, Pangeran Diponegoro, Proklamasi in Central Jakarta and Pramuka and Pemuda in East Jakarta.
On Saturday, Governor Anies Baswedan inaugurated the second phase of the bicycle lanes, which stretch for over 23 kilometers, connecting Fatmawati, Panglima Polim, Sisingamangaraja, and Sudirman. The launch came with a “trial period” until Nov. 19, during which time city officials will ride their bikes on the lanes every day as an awareness-raising effort to keep motorized vehicles off of them.
On Nov. 2, the city is set to open its third phase of new bike lanes, connecting Tomang Raya in West Jakarta to Cideng Timur, Kebon Sirih, and Matraman Raya in Central Jakarta and to West Jatinegara and East Jatinegara in East Jakarta.
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