Friday, January 14, 2011

How to Promote Bike to Work Culture in Indonesia

Two days ago I wrote an article entitled: How to promote cycling culture in your town to create awareness among town dwellers to see cycling as an alternative means of short distance transportation.The percentage of people cycling to work in Indonesia especially in big cities such as Jakarta, Surabaya and Medan still is still very small. Yet the number of people who ride bicycles to work is growing steadily following the rise in fuel price several year ago as a result of the central government's reduction on fuel subsidy. In Facebook and blogs, bike to work communities have been formed to attract more people ride bicycles.

In order for this campaign to be effectively materialized, the Indonesian government especially the Department for Transport must allocate significant amount of budget for the construction of cycling park and lanes. The urban planning authorities and consultants must include bicycle lanes in the grand design of city streets and roads.
In addition to pro-cycling policy from the government, and bike to work awareness from the cycling clubs, employers should also be included in the campaign. Some incentives from the companies where the cyclists work should be given to encourage other employees to choose bicycles as their means of transport for instance by giving special bonus for them where they can use the money to buy bicycle parts from specialized bicycle stores. We can learn from the Netherlands, Germany and Denmark whose bike to work programs have been very successful. If bike to work program is seriously promoted and implemented, the problem of traffic congestion can easily be eliminated from Jakarta, Surabaya and Medan.
I should point out here that cycling was a culture in Indonesia before the introduction of mass produced motorcycles and cars. The Dutch were the ones who introduced cycling in this country during the colonial period. So, it is not impossible to revive this culture again. I strongly believe that we can see more bicycles on the streets of towns and cities in Indonesia again. When more people ride their bicycles to work, the atmosphere of our towns and cities will be cleaner again.
In European countries, bike to work has long been seen as the most popular solution to reduce traffic congestion. According to DutchNews.nl, on its 30 Nov 2010 news, the Netherlands goverment, provincial and local councils would allocate 80 million Euros this year to extend the cycle tracks in Amsterdam, Haarlem The Hague and around Utrecht to another 15 km long.
Central and local governments in Indonesia have to be brave in allocating more money from their annual budgets for implementing pro-cycling policies.   by Charles Roring
Also read:

Benefits of riding bicycles
Riding bicycle is good for our health and environment
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