how to survive Jakarta’s traffic: patience is key

Yet another post about Jakarta’s traffic. A complain from a regular driver.

According to our new governor, the number of motorcycles in Jakarta is now 13,000,000 and cars 3,000,000 out of total 100,000,000 people living in Jakarta. 1,000,000 of the motorcycles are used for online motorbike-taxi (‘ojek online’ a.k.a. ‘ojol’); the number keeps increasing by day and the ‘labor unions’ are getting stronger and more solid.

Cars in Indonesia are mostly right-wheeled, so the normal rules are for slower vehicles (including but not limited to heavy trucks, buses with frequent stops except Transjakarta, bicycles, and motorcycles) to be on the left and faster on the right lane. However, it is clearly not the case in this city which is nominated one of top 10 cities with worst traffic in the world. As mentioned in the title: patience is key to survive Jakarta’s traffic.

Image result for worst traffic cities jakarta

The realities/road rules today (illustrations taken from kompasiana and si.mbot’s instagram):

  1. The poorer is the pity one, hence needs protection/immunity from the laws (including when laws are violated). The order from the richest to poorest: car drivers – motorbike riders – pedestrians. Whenever a case arises on the street, the richer is always the guilty one.
  2. As an addition to rule no. 1, it is not necessary for motorcycles to be ridden on the left lane. They are free to look for the ‘quickest’ possible lane, especially in the middle of traffic jams, because why bother joining the congestion when you are slim and able to slip in between cars?
  3. Even when we’re free from motorcycles, in toll roads another rules apply:
    • Heavy-loaded trucks, the slowest vehicle on the road, are necessarily on the left
    • Lighter-loaded trucks/vans/buses, which are obviously faster, are free to take any lane they want – including the most right lane during ’emergency’, regardless of the speed limits the vehicles allow
    • Private cars are left only with with the most right lane, hence blocking occurs when slower cars are in front. Faster cars are forced to overtake from the roadside.
  4. On a 2-lane roads, (I also don’t know why) slower motorcycles and cars really like to take the middle lane (neither left nor right), blocking both lanes and won’t slide even when dimmed.pacman
  5. Crossroads, U-turns and roundabouts are the most dangerous of all parts of the street. Cars and motorcycles are free to drive at any possible angle to turn to any possible route, creating chaos and deadlocks now and then.

 

 

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