Eye-pleasing patches of green grass for foreign athletes and tourists, boring grey sidewalks for us locals — that is essentially what the whole controversy surrounding the grass strips blocking road access to several bus stops on Jalan Sudirman will boil down to.
Yesterday, amid much public furore, Governor Anies Baswedan said that the grass strips aren’t even permanent and that they will be replaced with hard pavement after the Asian Games.
“We put up grass because it’s much easier to tear apart. The construction [on the sidewalks] is not complete, the grass is only temporary,” he told reporters at City Hall, as quoted by Kompas.
This tweet perfectly captures what many people are thinking right now:
Tearing apart and rebuilding costs money, sir
As for the matter of the bus stops, Vice Governor Sandiaga Uno said that they will eventually be moved forward closer to the road and that the focus right now is the “beautification” of Jalan Sudirman.
Governor Anies’ administration has been dealing with heavy criticism over some of their attempts to beautify the capital before the games, including the curtaining over of the fetid Sentiong Canal, which lies right next to athletes’ accommodation Wisma Atlet in Kemayoran, Central Jakarta.