City Crawler – Jakarta’s Biggest Problem

Like many other big cities, Jakarta is well known for its horrendous traffic.

Add some-lots-of rain to the mixture…

Here’s what you’ll end up with

I considered myself lucky enough because my office isn’t around the famous golden triangle – main business district of Jakarta or else I would be one of those who suffer every day going in and out of work, fighting this crazy traffic.

With rain pouring in daily – predicted to stay until February of next year – flooded streets are causing great major traffic jam. Last week, I was stuck in traffic for 2 hours going home and after that I decided to walk a bit with my umbrella further down the street so I can grab a cab then went straight into the toll road.

Not only has the flood, the strong winds also been causing lots of damages in and around Jakarta. One of the drivers at work had his roof blown away.

Watching the news last night, seeing the deadlock on the main roads of Jakarta, floods here and there, I wonder what has the Jakarta’s government done to solve these recurring problems? Every year, people here have to deal with floods and traffic well I hate the traffic here and seriously, people will grow old just going from point A to point B!

Has the government do anything real to solve it? Or they are too busy handing out building permits for more fancy swanky malls and apartments?

Don’t even let me started on the mentality of plenty of people behind the wheels here!

Lack of disciplines plays a huge role too in making the traffic jam even worst. Jakarta is one of the countries where a two way lanes streets can transformed itself into three or four! Amazing huh?

People switching lanes without any blinkers, motorbikes cutting in and out of your way like they’re a mouse going through a maze, obnoxious bus drivers who stopped wherever and waited for their passengers to get on-board whenever they feel like, it all plays some roles in creating this living in Jakarta nightmare.

Some experts has already predict that Jakarta will come to a complete lock-down on its street by the year 2015 but at the rate that we’re going, traffic will be most likely to come to a complete halt sooner.

Sadly, Jakarta’s governor is more proud of showing off Jakarta’s grand malls instead of fixing the infrastructure that will ensure we can minimize flooding.

Will Jakarta emerge from these problems? Clearly moving the capital will not solve the problem in the long run, that’s what this Mom thinks!




Lifestyle and travel blogger, founder of Single Moms Indonesia on a quest of finding joy in everyday life and living life to the fullest with kindness, compassion, grace and a bit of sass.

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  1. October 26, 2010 / 9:01 pm

    Well if I’m stuck in traffic because of a flood or crazy drivers, how do they expect me to get to the mall? What is up with these countries that allow people to make up their own rules when it comes to driving? Jakarta’s roads sound like the Philippines.

    • Maureen
      October 30, 2010 / 5:56 pm

      Hahahaha you’d have to go early when the mall just open and stay all day 😉
      Oh yeah, I’ve seen it on TV and heard too about traffic in the Philippines. And we wonder why American jokes about Asian drivers? LOL

    • Maureen
      October 30, 2010 / 5:56 pm

      I think people here sort of get use to the yearly flooding because it does happens at least once a year but this time it is getting worst.

  2. October 26, 2010 / 9:53 pm

    Wow! This will give me a whole new perspective when I think I’m stuck in traffic!! I can’t believe the government isn’t doing anything about it…
    Sarah recently posted..Mondays with Jack- 12th editionMy Profile

    • Maureen
      October 30, 2010 / 5:57 pm

      The government says they are ‘still coordinating’ over this which means they’re spending more money on meetings than actually doing something.

  3. liz
    October 26, 2010 / 10:36 pm

    Whoa! Does Jakarta normally have a “rainy season” like this?

    • Maureen
      October 30, 2010 / 5:59 pm

      Not as bad as this year Liz, we’ve been having rain for months which is weird because ‘officially’ rainy seasons starts around September but this time, it started since June or something.

  4. October 27, 2010 / 3:20 am

    Hi! I found you on The Fence. I am your newest follower. I love finding new blogs and yours is lovely:) You can find me at

    If you come by, take a peek at my giveaways. Everything is handmade and gorgeous!!

    • Maureen
      October 30, 2010 / 6:00 pm

      Hi Hanna, thanks for visiting my blog. I don’t normally join giveaways because I don’t live in the States 🙂

  5. October 27, 2010 / 5:34 am

    Oh I’m soooo with you!!! I cannot live in Jakarta for this reason. And yes, I grow old just coz I want to take a u-turn which takes 45 minutes. Argh!!! I hope your house don’t get flooded, looked terrible.
    Maria recently posted..Yes Im going to be a mother.My Profile

    • Maureen
      October 30, 2010 / 6:01 pm

      This is the reason why I have my love and hate relationship with Jakarta, Maria. Thankfully my parents house doesn’t get flooded.

    • Maureen
      October 30, 2010 / 6:03 pm

      Oh yeah, Atlanta’s traffic is crazy too huh? I’ve only been there several times but I know what you mean lol

    • Maureen
      October 30, 2010 / 6:04 pm

      Serene, yup it is frustrating. Imagine having to go potty and being stuck in traffic? I was in a car when Lil’ A got sick last week and vomited all over me. We were in congested traffic for about half an hour more after that. Yikes!

    • Maureen
      October 30, 2010 / 6:05 pm

      Thanks Melissa. It has now became a widely use joke at the office that whenever it starts to get really dark outside the window my co-workers would say “Alright, better head home than being stuck in traffic!” LOL.

    • Maureen
      October 30, 2010 / 6:07 pm

      That’s why I’m glad my office isn’t in downtown area 😀 Thanks, Mrs. Mayhem!

  6. October 28, 2010 / 8:10 am

    Jakarta’s traffic jam is just insane, I remember when I went back home last month I couldn’t go more than one place due to the bloody traffic jam. I’m so glad I don’t have to experience it again 🙂
    ecky recently posted..I miss you all heapsMy Profile

    • Maureen
      October 30, 2010 / 6:08 pm

      Oh totally true! That’s why sometimes I’d rather not go to the center if it’s not necessary just to avoid the traffic in and around that famous golden triangle.

  7. October 28, 2010 / 6:42 pm

    Your traffic sounds similar to Casablanca, in smaller scale though.
    No manners, me-me-me, motorbikes driving as they like…..I’m so scared every time I sit in our car.
    There will be a huge mall built in Casa. But roads are the same as now. I don’t understand passion of malls all over the globe.
    I like small corner shops and cafes. I don’t like huge malls nor shopping.

    I’ve heard sad tsunami news again. I’m so sorry it happened again.
    BLOGitse recently posted..WARNING to all expats moving to Casablanca MoroccoMy Profile

    • Maureen
      October 30, 2010 / 6:10 pm

      Yes, I can so relate to the motorbikes driving like they own the road and others in the car are the ones who responsible not to hit them.
      Ugh, me too! I would rather see nice green lush parks than more malls being build especially in Jakarta. It gets really old going to the malls here everything seems similar and competing with one another.

      Thanks, BLOGitse, yes it’s been a rough week for Indonesia 🙁

    • Maureen
      October 30, 2010 / 6:10 pm

      It was crazy, thunderstorm really it knocked some trees and billboards down.

  8. October 29, 2010 / 12:29 am

    Can’t just blame the government. Everybody should work together. jakartans should stop throwing their garbages in a gutter (which will ended up in Kali Ciliwung) and on the road (which will clogged the street’s water drain).
    Thanks to this pos, I finally made up my mind about going home. Well, maybe just a couple of night in Jakarta, no more than that. It doesn’t sound like a fun for a nine and eight year old to spend their holiday in a traffic like this.
    Diny recently posted..Confession of a Former Cat Owner- What Happened When You Read “A Dog’s Purpose” by W Bruce CameronMy Profile

    • Maureen
      October 30, 2010 / 6:14 pm

      I agree Diny, that’s why it is important to have a much better facility for Jakartans trash, striker rules about littering and wide spread campaign to teach our people not to throw their garbage all over the city but it is also important for the government to step up and do something instead of spending the money for a ‘case study’ to Italy, Greece, etc.
      No fun at all to be stuck in traffic for our kiddos but hey if you’re in town let me know, it’s been ages since the last time we met! 😀

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