Right. This type of question might be delivered in different way, or different sentence, but I BET some, or if not most of people in Jakarta always have this kind of question everytime they are trapped in the-oh-so-famous-bad-traffic-jam of Jakarta. I would like to believe then that at least when they have this question, they still have some concern on Jakarta current situation and wish better condition in the future, or even further, thinking on what kind of solution should be taken by government to tackle this everyday issue. Though it will most likely stay in that comment alone, as people lost hope already to government. Sad to acknowledge, but cannot say that my feeling is not mutual!
If only government had done their homework properly, then this kind of issue would at least be reduced in term of frequency, or even eliminated (though it might take longer time). I recall that there were some ideas proposed in the past, such as even and odd car-plate policy (which I still think as silly idea). Three-in-one is another policy which does not help much, considering too many personal cars and motorcycles in Jakarta.
As an outsider with limited information on what government actually has done for this issue, I was actually a bit hesitant to say that most proposed solutions were somewhat reckless. But looking at current situation, I can’t help to think that I most likely was right. Adding some simple stories from my friends who work in government institutions, I simply conclude that our government is very poor on Problem Solving.
Having worked now for few months with projects, I am now getting used to walk through a case from the very start: problem background, root cause of problem, expected outcome of projects, detailed action plans of project, and more. Thus I expect, with so many smart people in government, at least one or two people could think to do root cause analysis to see what are the true reasons of this never-ending-traffic jam.
For example, we said too many cars in roads of Jakarta. Then how to reduce it? Did we consider having higher tax (by considering type and age of cars), combined with better quality and quantity of public transportation? What will be the impact and what are potential risks of it? Will other mean of public transportation help such as monorail? Can we implement it without risk making traffic worse? These kind of questions should be asked everytime we do root cause analysis as we are trying to dig deeper on what is the real cause to tackle. We can even be as further as asking: are there too many people in Jakarta? How to control population in Jakarta? And so on.
In the end, hope is still hope, and as skeptical I am like million of people in Jakarta are about our government, I expect one day I can answer above question, starting with word “Yes!”
PS. Two hours already trapped in bad traffic jam in Thursday night before long weekend. I might have my third post before I arrive at home! *sigh*