Fri, 14 Oct 1994

Traffic award

The Wahana Tata Nugraha award was given to, among other cities, Bogor "for its achievements on the traffic front, particularly in improving the residents' awareness in improving traffic conditions." I don't know who measured the achievements, or how, but the "experts" could not have possibly been in everyday Bogor traffic like normal residents, i.e. without police escort to clear the way!

We have lived in Bogor for over 10 years and with disappointment have witnessed the deteriorating traffic conditions, mainly caused by the growing number of vehicles which needs to be managing somehow. The way this is done, however, seems to be lacking vision and expertise.

1. Traffic lights, which often don't work because the notorious Bogor thunderstorms cause havoc with them, have been erected on many corners. Their broken light bulbs are rarely replaced, but there is however money to paint the curbs nearly every month.

2. In order to clear congested public roads the city traffic authorities choose to divert traffic through residential areas, especially on Sundays and holidays. This most likely contributes to the "residents' awareness of traffic conditions."

3. Bridges and roads are left to fall into such disrepair that finally they have to be closed completely, leading to extensive traffic jams.

4. While whole brigades of policemen are deployed, they do not contribute much to solving traffic problems, as they mainly whistle "Brr" "Brr" and wave their arms, without any idea as to how to clear a congested junction, or enforce stopping at red lights.

5. The most efficient instrument so far seems to be the Patung Polisi (a statue of a policeman): firm, incorruptible, permanently on service and ...I still fall into a trap!

Maybe some police officers could be sent to Italy to learn from their counterparts how to efficiently conduct traffic. Anybody having witnessed their action at the Vittorio Emmanuele Monument in Rome knows what is meant. As an added bonus the concept of Mani Pulite could also be introduced!