Jakartans don’t seem to be able to agree whether or not we should share major roads with cyclists, and it seems the capital is leaning away from becoming a bike-friendly city with plans to dismantle a major (and expensive) bike lane in Central Jakarta.
National Police Chief Listyo Sigit Prabowo, who also chairs a sports bike association, met with the House of Representatives (DPR) yesterday to discuss the controversy surrounding cyclists on the capital’s major roads. Specifically, they discussed the 11.2-kilometer IDR28 billion (US$1.9 million) bike lane that stretches along Central Jakarta’s main commercial thoroughfare of Jalan Sudirman and Jalan MH Thamrin.
“We urge [the police] to review this permanent bike lane. If need be, it should be dismantled so the road can be used by all,” NasDem Party politician Ahmad Sahroni told Listyo during the meeting.
“We agree that it’s a problem, the permanent [bike lane] will be dismantled,” Listyo replied.
The bike lane, constructed by the Jakarta Provincial Government in February amid a cycling boom in Indonesia during the pandemic, has been criticized as an inefficient use of space.
Ahmad previously argued that cyclists mostly use the lane early in the morning, thus unnecessarily narrowing the road for motorized vehicles throughout the rest of the day. Furthermore, motorcyclists have been known to ride on the bike lane, posing a safety hazard.
Jakarta Vice Governor Ahmad Riza Patria said the administration will take criticism of the bike lane, particularly from the National Police chief, into account. The administration has yet to make a decision on the matter.
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