Jakarta traffic density up 20% amid loosened restrictions: Police

File photo of Jalan M.H. Thamrin in Central Jakarta. Photo: Coconuts Media
File photo of Jalan M.H. Thamrin in Central Jakarta. Photo: Coconuts Media

Driving around Jakarta now is a far cry from the height of mobility restrictions a couple of months ago — not in a good way, by any means. Yet the Jakarta Traffic Police’s prediction for further increase in traffic activity portends even more maddening macet (traffic jams) in the near future.

Argo Wiyono, who heads the Law Enforcement Sub-Directorate at the Jakarta Traffic Police, said ever since the capital’s Enforcement of Restrictions on Public Activities (PPKM) was downgraded to Level 1 — the lowest tier — last week, traffic density throughout the region has surged by an average of 15 to 20 percent compared to previous PPKM levels.

As things stand (or crawl, as it were), Argo said we are nowhere near pre-pandemic macet levels yet.

“There are traffic jams but not to the point that vehicles get stuck. Travel speeds are still around average levels; maybe what was once a 15-minute trip is now completed in 20 minutes,” he said today.

Workplace activity is undoubtedly a major contributor to the capital’s traffic, especially during rush hour. Under Level 1 PPKM, offices may open to 75 percent capacity, up from 50 percent during Level 2 PPKM.

Whether or not the police’s estimate is accurate, one thing’s for certain: we’d gladly take more macet over more COVID-19 cases.

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