So Jakarta aspires to become an international music city. It makes sense, given the amount of large-scale music events and festivals recently held in Jakarta. One thing: if Jakarta can manage to convert the howling din of daily honking from cars, buses, motorcycles and sate sellers into music, it certainly would earn that title.Maybe Plis Deh Jakarta can start a side business selling musical car horns?
… holding a gallon-sized water bottle…. holding the helmet he or she is supposed to wear…. calling on the phone…. SMS-ing on the phone…. holding a cigarette…. holding a bag of groceries…. holding a baby (!)… carrying a long plank of wood…. waving those flashlight-cum-lightsaber thingys usually used for directing traffic.
This is smart! Rather than hounding motorcyclists at every corner, the police simply distributed free helmets. Well, it sort of feels like handing our condoms without sex education, but at least it’s a step in the right direction.Then again, you never know if the free helmets aren’t left at home or sold.
I was always under the impression that the city’s traffic lights, however chaotic, had some sort of outdated underlying system coordinating everything. WRONG. It’s all just random – no wonder we need police officers maintaining the busy intersections at rush hour, or else it would be even worse.Enter the research arm from UI, assisted by the University of Nagoya, who are trying to figure out on how to synchronize all the traffic lights in Jakarta, in a 4-year project that has started since 2008. They are saying, “synchronized traffic lights could be the answer”. Strangely, the head of the Traffic Management Centre did not know this project was going on.Well, as long as everybody obeys the traffic lights, we could have a winner here. And that’s even assuming the traffic lights will be on.
Hating people who cut lines on the Transjakarta queue, or people littering in the Transjakarta facilities?This lady (and her group) has the right idea: she always scolds people cutting in line, and tells on people who litter. For most Jakartans, it may be a bit harsh, but maybe it’s just what we need – we live in the city where people wear motorcycle helmets because of police nearby, and not for their own safety.Suara Transjakarta is, I think, a better way for citizen activism, compared to endless demonstrations in front of government buildings. These guys are not pro-government, mind you – they have their criticism towards the Transjakarta service as well. But they are working positively on how, at least, the average citizen can make Transjakarta better. Because if we want to make Jakarta more tolerable to live in, it’s also up to us, not just the government…