Thursday, December 27, 2007

If you curious how traffic jam occur in Jakarta...

If you really curious how traffic jam occur in Jakarta, maybe you could take a look at what the mathematician conclude when they try to solve the traffic jam mystery. Using mathematical model, they solve the causes of traffic jam as follow:
Their model revealed that slowing down below a critical speed when reacting to such an event, a driver would force the car behind to slow down further and the next car back to reduce its speed further still. The result of this is that several miles back, cars would finally grind to a halt, with drivers oblivious to the reason for their delay. The model predicts that this is a very typical scenario on a busy highway (above 15 vehicles per km). The jam moves backwards through the traffic creating a so-called ‘backward traveling wave’, which drivers may encounter many miles upstream, several minutes after it was triggered.
As clearly seen recently in Jakarta, population of cars have increase dramatically while length of the road is not rise significantly. If you want to find out what causes any congestion occur while you drive your car or motorcycle, it is almost certain that they caused by backward traveling wave by following activities:
  1. Pedestrians crossing the road. If you notice, the more pedestrians crossing the road given the size of the zebra-cross, the the longer you will be stuck in the traffic jam. (See picture). In this case, it is not only the driver who suffer from the situation. The pedestrians also facing difficulties to cross the road for sure - and safe.
  2. Stop by public transport, especially angkot and bus. The number of bus or angkot, and the longer they stop by at a particular spot of the road, it will increase the wave of backward traveling. You may see the case at the mall or market.
  3. Distances among U-turns and numbers of junction. The closer a distance between two U-turns, it is most likely to increase the wave of backward traveling. Not only because queuing U-turns maneuver of cars but also because cars who is stuck in the queuing and wish to change the line. If the U-turns also quite close with a junction then it will adding up the wave.
Therefore, if you ask me what is the solution for heavy traffic jam in Jakarta? I believe, the only single solution is reduce numbers of cars on the road and re-arrange the traffic flow - including pedestrians flow. Mass rapid transport system, e.g Bus Way or Angkot Way, is one necessary policy but not a panacea for road congestion in Jakarta. While adding more road is only a pain killer.

The next problem - and this is the most difficult one - is how much are you willing to give up not driving your cars or riding motorcycles? How much are you willing to crossing the road at the appropriate location, i.e zebra-cross???

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