Sunday, August 17, 2008

The Right of Pedestrians?

Hello everyone! This is my first post. This time, I want to talk about the environment around my residence. I live on Jalan Pinang, Near Gunadarma Depok Campus. For my residence, I rent a room from an old lady. It is because my family live in Bengkulu. The nearest main road from my place is Jalan Margonda Raya.

I want to tell you about this Margonda Raya. Jalan Margonda is the main road in Depok. On this road, there are many offices, banks, shops, malls, and street vendors. Along this road, there are four malls, they are Depok Town Square (Detos), Margo City, Mall Depok, and Plaza Depok. Detos is located across Margo City. I believe you surely know the condition if two malls are located close to each other, of course the road between them is very crowded. The crowded condition is always accompanied by traffic jam. Oh, I almost forgot, beside the four malls, there is ITC (trade centre) Depok. ITC Depok and Plaza Depok are near Depok terminal. That area is very crowded, almost all the times the traffic jam happens.

One thing that makes me fed up is the food stalls on sidewalks. The food stalls sell any kind of food especially coconut-milk-rice, fried chicken, toasted bread, sate (roasted meat on skewer), and instant noodles. The food merchants pitch tents to sell their goods along the sidewalk. This matter surely annoys the pedestrians, even it can be said that the rights of pedestrians are violated. Often, the food stalls don’t leave any spots on the sidewalk for pedestrians. Therefore, the pedestrians must be out of sidewalks and walk on the road. It is very dangerous for them; they are easily hit by vehicles that pass by.

It is not only the food stalls, but also the parked vehicles on the sidewalk that violate the right of pedestrians. Most of the stores on Margonda Raya have no enough parking for their customers’ vehicles. So, the customers park their vehicles on the sidewalks however they like.

I think that the right of pedestrians is the last thing that matters in Indonesia traffic. All of us, from the private vehicle drivers, motorcycle riders, public transportation users, until pedestrians, have the right to use the road. But why the rights of the pedestrians are always neglected? Is it because the pedestrians are the weakest party on the road?

Those food stalls along the sidewalks must be organized by Depok government. They are not also annoying for the pedestrians, but also ruin the beauty of the town. They should be relocated at a particular place. I admit the relocation needs a lot of money and also is time consuming, but it must be started now. I don’t know whether the Depok government has been aware of this situation or not, but it is clear that they haven’t taken any action. As for me, I do not want to make this matter worse by not eating in the food stalls. The food stalls are there because of the demands, people want to eat at those places. By not eating at those places, at least I have contributed to the resolution of this problem, although it is only little and insignificant.