Reviving Bicycle Track in Semarang City, Good or Bad Choices?

In recent years many concepts of planning appear as solution of environmental degradation. Peoples in the world start to think again about the sustainability of mother earth. One of the popular concepts is sustainable transportation. Many countries including Indonesia are in the state of transportation planning and readjustment. Here, transportation sector seen as one big sector that responsible towards pollution and global warming, because peoples activities now seems to have high dependency on transportation sector especially in developing countries where most people still prefer to have their own private car than taking public transportation or even biking or walking. Here in this essay the main discussion would be around the importance of reviving bicycle use in Semarang City Indonesia.

In Indonesia many people becomes dependable towards transportation especially private vehicle. It creates many problems inside some big cities, for instance in Jakarta congestion is daily routine activities for its citizen which further create pollution as the long term impact of uncontrollable private car use. Some issues like less efficient and effective, less integrated public transportation and infrastructures, uncomfortable and inflexible public transport condition is the reason behind low number of public transport use in Indonesia. More over the low price of petroleum and taxes becomes the next reason on people mode choices preference toward private vehicle.

Semarang seems to learn from the condition of Jakarta. This city now tries to introduce the concept of sustainable development towards its citizen. At first, BRT project appear as one of potential public transport facilities created to attract people leaves the use of private vehicle. Then the government introduces car free day program in the city center, and the latest one is the development of bicycle track in some main streets in Semarang. The development of bicycle track is basically the implementation of sustainable development using non-motorize transportation. It always become a good idea to use non-motorize transportation to reduce the environmental impact, but it tend to be useless when it created and developed when the citizen are not ready yet. Semarang citizen in Central Java Province, Indonesia, still has low willingness on using bicycle as their mode choices to support their activities. Low willingness of its citizen usually related with some common reasons such as hot weather issue, geographical reason, less integrated bicycle track and lack of supporting facilities such as bike park zone. Based on those reasons, for now bicycle track development in Semarang could be seen as imprecise choice in managing private vehicle use. So the question is how to develop it into good choices? Create and learning new innovation is the answer.

Learn from some cities in develop countries like Paris and Amsterdam, greeneries are important especially alongside the pedestrian ways and bicycle track. Greeneries definitely can reduce tropical weather condition of Indonesia. Regarding with the geographical issue, bicycle lift (trampe) innovation in Trondheim, Norway is a good choices to be try. Basically it uses is to help biker and his bike to reach higher place easily. And at last integration of non-motorize transportation and public transportation will help biker reach far places that are difficult to reach only by bike. It would be great if biker could bring their bike inside the public transportation just like in La Rochelle or providing bike parking facilities in every train station or bus stop like in Japan and Netherland cities.  If Semarang or other Indonesian cities could learn from those cases above, development of bicycle track would not only stay as a dream.





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