The Jakarta Post
Jakarta Governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama has promised world-class sidewalks along Jl. M. H. Thamrin and Jl. Sudirman in Central and South Jakarta once current renovation work is completed.
Ahok’s plan to expand sidewalks along thoroughfares appears to be inspired by his visit to the Netherlands, where he found sidewalks wide enough for small cafés to operate without disrupting traffic.
“This kind [of café] is common in European cities. Small tables are installed [on sidewalks] there,” said Ahok referring to the JakBistro café he inaugurated at City hall on Monday.
The expansion of pedestrian facilities would be implemented by eliminating one lane on each side of the road and by clearing fences separating sidewalks and adjacent properties, said the governor.
He expressed his optimism that the expansion of the sidewalks would not cause traffic congestion, because of better public transportation services thanks to the mass rapid transit (MRT) and the deployment of more buses on Transjakarta lanes.
“We have decided to address traffic problems with better public transportation, not by expanding roads,” he added as reported by kompas.com on Wednesday.
After the renovation, sidewalks along the two thoroughfares would measure 9 to 10 meters in width, plus the space on private properties after taking down fences. “This will create opportunities for young people to open cafés,” he added. (bbn)
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