PROMOTING BICYCLE-FRIENDLY CITY IN INDONESIA

(ini adalah essay yang saya kirim untuk konten jadidubes1hari yang diselenggarakan kedutaan besar Denmark, …gak menang sih, tapi yaa daripada mubadzir, mungkin teman-teman bisa melihat ide saya dari essay ini. Selamat menyimak!)

Problems faced by Indonesia Cities

Nowadays, there is increasing awareness in many countries to consider bicycle as an important aspect in transportation plan, shifting from marginal means of recreational mode turn into transportation mode. Many researches show that cycling are effective to reduce air pollution, making better environment and helping people to get more healthy. Cycling can help to achieve the livable communities when it included in public policy to reduce sprawl and develop higher density. Therefore, integrating cycling in public policy make the use of land is more efficient 1). Furthermore, cycling is recognized as a clean and sustainable mode of transport that has potential as an alternative to the car for short-distance travel in urban area.

In the term of urban planning, this awareness is known as bicycle-friendly city.  A bicycle-friendly city is a city with more space, less noise, cleaner air, healthier citizens and a better economy. It’s a city that is a nicer place to be in and where individuals have a higher quality of life. Where accessibility is high and there is a short route from thought to action if one wants to head out into nature, participate in cultural or sports activities or buy locally. Bicycle traffic is therefore not a singular goal but rather an effective tool to use when creating a liveable city with space for diversity and development2).

This awareness has rose following the success story of several developed countries in implementing cycling policies as main urban transportation mode, such as Netherland and Denmark. Copenhagen, Groningen and Amsterdam are famous as the cities where their people are likely to use bicycle rather than cars. In Asia, there are Beijing and Tokyo that also famous where people are starting to cycling.

How about Indonesian cities? Many cities in Indonesia are still struggling to fight congestion, traffic jams and air pollution. These cities put bicycle transportation as inferior things, and more focus on motorized transportation. It can be seen from the increasing number of vehicles every year driven the cities.

Table 1 Shows data on number of vehicles in Bandung city3). Based on this table, it can be seen that the number of vehicles increases every year. Transportation Agency of Bandung City predicted that the number of vehicles increase about 10-15 percent each year. Ironically, the road infrastructure in this city is only about 1,300 km are designed to be passed for 360,000 four-wheel vehicles4). It means that traffic congestion cannot be hindered as consequences of this increasing number of vehicles. Obviously, this phenomenon is also happened in other Indonesian cities.

What to do?

If I have a chance to be Ambassador of Denmark in Indonesia, one of the programs that I will be arranged in this country is encouraging Indonesian cities for implementing bicycle-friendly city. Denmark and Indonesia can boost their cooperation in green transportation policy. As what I mentioning above, Denmark has been known as one country that successfully encouraging their people to cycling. Then, it will be easy for me to arrange some programs about this issue.

Table1. Number of Vehicle in Bandung City

 

no Vehicle type years
2006 2007 2008 2009 2011
1 Motor Cycles 448.651 558.636 703.827 784.726 875.474
2 Private Buses 2.668 3.161 2.511 2.573 2.585
3 Public Buses 1.231 1.846 2.213 2.497 2.946
4 Private Truck/Pick Up 46.110 50.644 61.440 53.314 59.347
5 Public Truck/Pick Up 275 1.039 1.409 1.503 2.028
6 Private Passenger Cars 55.839 66.119 21.014 72.677 66.232
7 Public Passenger Cars 869 1.232 1.582 1.768 1.438
8 Private Jeeps 23.336 27.202 30.310 31.041 31.294
9 Public Jeeps 0 0 0 0 3
10 Private Mini Bus 114.510 133.548 157.936 167.656 184.951
11 Public Mini Bus 5.747 7.177 7.296 7.360 5.908
Total Vehicles 701.242 852.611 1.041.546 1.127.124 1.234.217

I believe that many cities in Indonesia have potential aspects for promoting cycling. For instance, ‘bike to work’ has become a trend for urban people, either in Jakarta, Bandung or other cities. We can see there are many people use their bike in Car Free Day event. Furthermore, who doesn’t know Ridwan Kamil? He can be a role model of Mayors in Indonesia who care for promoting cycling. He created ‘Jum’at Bersepeda’ that force people to use bicycle every Friday. He also initiated the first ‘bike sharing system’ in Indonesia. Moreover, I think the cycling communities are growing positively in many cities.

One program that I will conduct related this issue is making an Indonesia-Denmark mayors forum by inviting mayors in Indonesian and Danish Cities. Through this forum, I want to encourage mayors of Indonesian cities to implement bicycle transportation policy in their cities. In this forum, I will ask Copenhagen city government to share their effort to promote bicycle in their city. In this forum, Indonesian cities can learn from Copenhagen how to arrange bicycle transportation policy.

Another program, I will prompt to make sister city between two cities in Indonesia and Denmark. It will be help these two cities to make cooperation in many aspects, especially related the program to promote bicycle-friendly city. In the form of sister city, engineers and experts from Danish cities can be sent to Indonesian cities to help in promoting cycling in Indonesian cities.

In a nut shell, I believe my programs will be accepted enthusiastically by the cities in both countries.  Danish cities can share their knowledge, while Indonesian cities can learn how to promote bicycle as one solution for alleviating congestion in their cities. Therefore, green cities and good environment cities will be spread in Indonesia.

References

Ardia, Heri. 2013. Pertumbuhan Kendaraan di Bandung 11% setiap tahunnya. http://bandung.bisnis.com/read/20130816/5/415221/pertumbuhan-kendaraan-di-bandung-11-setiap-tahunnya

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