Tue, December 28, 2010
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Cycling as transportation in Jakarta

2010-12-28 09:50:45 GMT2010-12-28 17:50:45 (Beijing Time)  SINA.com

Some residents in Jakarta are trading in their gas guzzling cars and motorcycles -- for bicycles.

The Indonesian capital is known for its obscene traffic-- and it's only expected to get worse.

30-year old Fahmi Pahlevi says the benefits of bike riding are obvious.

(SOUNDBITE) (Bahasa Indonesia) COMMUTER, FAHMI PAHLEVI, SAYING:

"There are a lot of reasons for using bicycles but there are two fundamental reasons, first is speed and second is, by cycling we become healthy and do not need to find extra time for exercise."

Cramming between cars and other vehicles can be daunting and dangerous. Cycling groups like Bike to Work are lobbying the government for special bike lanes.

But city officials aren't convinced just yet.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) JAKARTA GOVERNOR FAUZI BOWO SAYING:

"We need quantity, because we have to think of the numbers of those who use bikes on a regular basis, I don't think it's appropriate to build a special facility for only a thousand, 2,000, 3,000 or 5,000 people."

Experts say there are at least 500 new cars hit the roadways of Jakarta everyday.... which could bring traffic to a standstill within three years.

(Reuters)

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