Photo by Raditya Fadilla/NOWJAKARTA

The government has been working on an extensive revitalisation of sidewalks in and around Jakarta. Having made to improve pedestrian facilities, the revitalisation, albeit temporary, exposes pedestrians to danger by forcing them to walk among the vehicles. Also, pedestrians are, most of the time, harassed by motorbikes on the sidewalks, with food stalls or parked vehicles not helping pedestrians. NOW! Jakarta took to the streets to see how the people actually feel about these changes.

H.E. Gary Quinlan AO

Renae Verboon

IG: @naevete

I think that the current projects being done around Jakarta are good for the city. Although a temporary nuisance, I’m happy to deal with the short-term inconvenience for the long-term goal for having better sidewalks for pedestrians. I think overall, the recent work the city is doing is fantastic! Jakarta needs to prioritise pedestrians and encourage people to walk around more to promote sustainable forms of transport. I live in Kuningan on Jalan Satrio where there is currently a lot of work happening and most of the sidewalks was complete. I absolutely loved the sidewalk and loved the freedom to be able to easily walk to my destination. It’s an important part of city “livability” and I really think it will help to make Jakarta a more pleasant place to live. If they want to keep cars of the road, they need to install bollards or posts to prevent mounting on the sidewalk. And introducing a parking fine and penalty system would be good revenue for the local government.

H.E. Gary Quinlan AO

Mellisa Anggiarti

IG: @imellisas

I think the idea of widening the existing sidewalks doesn’t help attract people’s interest to start walking due to nasty weather and heavy pollution. What is more important for me is that the revitalisation of pedestrian infrastructure has to be synergised with the advancement of public transport service, thus giving more comfort for pedestrians and ease them to get public transport as well as allocate more parking areas along with greener public spaces. It also must block the walkway for motorbikes, so they can’t pass! It would also be great to find some food carts on the sidewalks like in New York City.

H.E. Gary Quinlan AO

Robin Lipman

FB: @robinlipman

I feel unless all motorcycles and stalls are removed from the sidewalk, widening is a waste of time because more motorcycles and stalls will use the extra space and in a short time it will be damaged again. So instead of enjoying nice walks or runs it will become even worse, so yes great idea but do it right. We want Jakarta to become like any major city in the world; a joy to visit.

H.E. Gary Quinlan AO

Gabriel Morton

IG: @Gabrielmorton

I come from a place where most places are very walkable. I have to say that the nicest sidewalk I’ve ever walked on was near Trisakti University. The area has wide, clean benches to sit down on and very walkable with so many trees to cover. In addition to not only revitalising the sidewalks, there needs to be consistent enforcement, and how do you take care of it. Also, there needs to be major fines for motorbikes who are driving on sidewalks as well. If they just get rid of the problems in the first place, and that is people using it to sell their goods or foods and motorbikes crossing the sidewalks, then it would actually take care the problems, without creating a new additional problem.

H.E. Gary Quinlan AO

Dorothy Delgado Novicio


Compared to when we first came here in Jakarta five years ago, I think there have been observable improvements in the major thoroughfares of the city. The streets have become more pedestrian friendly and this is quite notable in the Sudirman area. However, since there are thousands of motorbikes plying the streets on a daily basis, they sometimes pose danger on the safety of those who opt to walk. Once I had trouble crossing the short distance between Plaza Senayan to Senayan City due to non-stop hundreds of cars and motorcycles. There’s no doubt that the infrastructure, the streets and mass transport in the capital have greatly improved. But there’s still much to be done in making sure that the roads are shared by pedestrians and motorists and the safety of pedestrians should be a major concern for all.

This article is originally from paper. Read NOW!Jakarta Magazine January 2020 issue “In with the New”. Available at selected bookstores or SUBSCRIBE here.

Asyariefah R.A.

Asyariefah R.A.

Born into a nature-loving family, Asyariefah enjoys the outdoors. Now! Jakarta provides her favourite collection of narratives with a sense of helping establish her identity. Some of her key areas of expertise include human interest, arts & culture, travel and features.