In Jakarta, pedestrians aim to reclaim choked footpaths

Ahmad Pathoni – Two motorcyclists flew into a rage recently when they were stopped from riding on a footpath by a group of pedestrians in Indonesia’s capital. “If I had a knife, I would stab you,” one of the riders shouted in a video posted by a pedestrian activist group on YouTube. The motorcyclists had been attempting to bypass a traffic jam. The scene, which went viral online, highlights the challenges that Jakarta authorities face in trying to solve a problem that partly explains why so few people want to walk in the city. nike outlet “I rarely walk even though the school where I work is not far from my house,” said Susilowati, a teacher in Jakarta who uses only one name. “The pavement is very bad, and when it’s not occupied by street vendors it’s invaded by motorcycle drivers,” she said. A recent study by researchers at Stanford University in the US revealed that average Indonesians take only 3,513 walking steps a day, ranking Indonesia at the bottom among the 46 countries and territories surveyed. Jakarta is struggling with an inadequate public transport system and dilapidated infrastructure. Cheap Adidas Sneakers UK Only seven per cent of the capital’s 7,000 km of roads have footpaths, according to government data. In many places, cars and motorcycles can be seen parking on walkways, while in other locations they are totally blocked by food carts and roadside eateries. The impediments force pedestrians to walk into the streets to get around them, endangering themselves in the process. But the city government is aware of the problems and has started to build more footpaths, with plans to add 2,600 km in the coming years. adidas originals womens In August, it launched the Orderly Pavement Month, during which more than 8,000 motorists who used footpaths at the expense of pedestrians were ticketed. Activists, like Alfred Sitorus from the Pedestrian Coalition, have stepped up their campaigns to keep motorists off sidewalks. For some women, persistent cat-calls discourages them from walking. Some feminists have set up a website, where victims of sexual harassment on the streets can share their stories. Urban planning expert Elisa Sutanudjaja is one of the few who make it a habit to walk despite the odds. “I have to walk because I don’t have the luxury of time to go to the gym,” she said.