Jakarta authorities successfully cleared cars parked along Jalan Gajah Mada and Jalan Hayam Wuruk on Monday. However, it seems they may have pushed the problem onto the sidewalks.
At 8 a.m., the city kicked off its monthlong introductory period for an on-street parking ban along the stretch, which encompasses both roads, spanning Central and West Jakarta.
But soon afterwards, it became apparent that motorists were circumventing the ban by simply parking their cars on the sidewalk.
Udar Pristono, head of the Jakarta Transportation Office, said that since it was only the first day of the ban, parking on the sidewalk would be tolerated.
“This was the first day we implemented the ban, so problems can occur,” he said. “But we still have one month to familiarize motorists with the new regulation.”
During the socialization period, Udar said cars found parked along the road would be towed or clamped, but owners would not be fined until the month was up.
“We are going to take serious action against whoever parks their car on the street proper or on the sidewalk, and we will be providing them with full information during the socialization,” he said, without elaborating on how much fines would be.
“Basically, all cars and motorcycles must be parked in the designated parking areas, which are to be provided by all the buildings along Gajah Mada and Hayam Wuruk. And they cannot park their cars or motorbikes on the sidewalks,” he added.
Udar said six major buildings in the area — Duta Merlin, the Pelni office, Gajah Mada Plaza, Hayam Wuruk Plaza, Lindeteves Trade Center and Hotel Grand Paragon — had a total of 2,711 parking spaces, which was much more than the 1,200 spaces available for on-street parking.
But one pedestrian on Monday, Winda Astuti, 35, was livid at the number of cars blocking the sidewalk along Gajah Mada, pointing out that since the sidewalks were now full of cars, pedestrian were ironically forced to walk on the street.
“Other than being very uncomfortable to walk on the street, it is also very dangerous because you know how crazy Jakarta drivers are,” she said.
By 3:30 p.m., only two cars had been towed away, while another had one of its wheels booted. Some 165 police and city personnel were also deployed to inform drivers of the new policy.
So far, only 22 of the estimated 160 affected street parking attendants have been assigned to new parking areas, while 70 others were still being processed.
Join the debate online at thejakartaglobe.com or e-mail email@example.com
(Please give your name & location)
Want to comment on this or other stories today?