(September 16 2017) ITDP Indonesia in collaboration with FNF Indonesia, Qlue, Jakarta Good Guide and IWasHere Network held an event titled Park(Ing) Day 2017 as one of a series of pedestrian-themed activities as a part of the #PedestrianFirst campaign.
In this occasion ITDP Indonesia invited the general public and the media to participate in this event and to think about the value of space in cities like Jakarta. This event was to raise public awareness about issues ITDP has been addressing in partnership with cities around the globes, such as Jakarta, Bogota, Mexico City, Buenos Aires and Guangzhou. Since its conception in 2005, Park(ing) Day has been challenging the perception of public space and how we utilize it. It offers the public a chance to transform their street and see what if that space was utilized for people, not cars. In 2010, there were recorded 183 cities in 30 countries spread across 5 continents participating in having Park(ing) Day in their cities.
ITDP Indonesia with its partners tries to create awareness of the need for open space in cities and challenges the way people think about how roads are used and for whom the roads are build. Park(ing) Day 2017 converts parking space into a new public space that the general public can use and tries to draws attention to topics that are usually sensitive to the popular car-oriented urban development. Park(ing) Day 2017 exhibits a myriad of alternative uses for open spaces and shoulder areas that typically serve as parking lots and are expected to create a public dialogue on how people and cities use this space. Park(ing) Day 2017 took place in Kala Kopi Wahid Hasyim, Central Jakarta and opened from 08.00 AM until 20.00 PM, and features various activities such as walking tour with Jakarta Good Guide, short creative writing course from iWasHere Network, and a documentary film screening about the struggles of cyclists in the megacities such as Los Angeles and Brazil.
The event officially started on 9 AM with press conference. ITDP Indonesia invited Mr. Ferdinand Ginting from Jakarta Provincial Transportation Agency, Mrs. Riri Asnita from City Planning Office of DKI Jakarta, and Mr. Jonathan Davy from Qlue App as guest speakers. “There is a need for evaluation of permit related setback parking in Jakarta,” said Udayalaksmanakartiyasa Halim, Senior Transport Associate ITDP Indonesia. In Jakarta more often than not, when a commercial parking spaces are full, people tend to park their car on sidewalks, this created a problem for both pedestrian and the city. “Based on the data that we have, illegal parking is the number one reported complaint in Jakarta, almost 60% of the complaint are about illegal parking, particularly on the sidewalks.”, claimed Jonathan, the Strategic Partnership and Outreach from Qlue App.
The Jakarta regional government actually have their standardized method on how to build sidewalks, “But sometimes the problem are the people themselves, particularly from the land and plot owners, they objected because they feel that the sidewalks reduce the setback parking area that they have,” said Riri, the Section Head of Road and Infrastructure Planning from DKI Jakarta City Planning Office. Riri also claimed that even though sidewalks and pedestrians are important for sustainable urban development, usually they are the one who got sidelined. This sentiment was echoed by Ferdinand Ginting, Section Head of the Traffic Division of the DKI Jakarta Provincial Transportation Agency. Ferdinand said that the number one offenders are the motorcyclist that used public sidewalks as parking space and this mean people often have to walk on the roads to get from point A to point B in Jakarta and it could be very dangerous for the pedestrian to do that, particularly in Jakarta’s traffic. “But I’m optimistic,” said Ferdinand, “Because with the data that we have, I can see that there are a declined in violations after we started taking a measure for illegal parking. I hope our measure will be the wake-up call for the people in Jakarta to stop seeing those violation as a normal thing to do.”
The next event at 3 PM was the short course about creative writing by Ms. Windy Ariestanty, a travel blogger from iWasHere Networks, the course is about on how to share a creative story online, particularly on social media. After that, Mr. Farid Mardhiyanto from Jakarta Good Guide lead participants on a walking tour through the part Gondangdia and Cikini area while simultaneously entertaining participants with the colonial history of those places. The tour was to show participant on how a city is best explored by walking, that way people can soak up all the detail and history that we might miss when we traveling by car, bus, or train and to show how walking in streets of Jakarta can be informative and fun. On the evening, Park(ing) Day 2017 concluded with a screening of a documentary film titled “Bikes vs Cars.”. This movie tells the struggle of cyclists in a car-dominated urban environment, and the revolutionary changes that can occur if urban shift away from a vehicle-oriented urban development model. The movie examines the hidden cost that people actually pay for accommodating automobiles, particularly in Los Angeles and Sao Paulo.
“Today on Park(ing) Day, we see how important it is to have more public space. By transforming this parking space into a public space, I hope it could encourage people to challenge their perception about walking, sidewalks, and setback parking in Jakarta and I hope in the future, we can create pedestrian sidewalks that are safe, comfortable and accessible to all, whether its children, teenagers, seniors and people who have special needs or people with disabilities,” said Riri Anista in an interview. (Text: Karina Saraswati/ Pics: Rey Jakshia)