Posts Tagged ‘traffic’

3-in-1 Question

So, I almost got fined today. And I was saved by Taffy’s* dashboard clock. According to the (nice) policeman that stopped me on Semanggi’s flyover (a main road within Jakarta CBD), I allegedly broke the 3-in-1 rule as it was 7am already (or so he claimed). Thankfully, my dashboard clock says 6:58am and I pleaded my 2-minute case. It helped that my office is literally just 2 minutes away. So, with a lil pleading (me) and a smile (him), I was let free! Fine-less and bribe-less 🙂 Thank you, Mr. Policeman!

But my 3-in-1 question is this: Are you safe once you have entered the zone? Or are you subject to that rule anywhere within it?

As background info for those not familiar with Jakarta-specific traffic rules, the 3-in-1 rule basically stipulates that all private cars passing through the CBD area at 7:00am – 10:00am and 4:30pm – 7:00pm will need to carry at least 3 people. Similar to the congestion charge in London/Singapore/etc, the aim is to minimize traffic during those rush hours and push people to take public transportation instead… except Jakarta does not have good public transport. So my sole option, if I decide to come to the office late, is to go through the back route which is slightly longer and, of course, has heavier traffic as people, like me, avoid the main roads.

My understanding, and my logic dictates that I’m right (but is yet untested against the all-mighty policemen logic), is this: as long as I enter before those time periods, then I am fine.. i.e. once I’m in the 3-in-1 zone, it shouldn’t matter that it’s just one lil me in my one lil car.

My reasoning, you ask? Well, for one, as any well-seasoned Jakartans will tell you (and by well-seasoned I mean anyone who has spent at least 6 hours in Jakarta), traffic is crazy, unpredictable, and a fact of life here in Jakarta. So you could enter at 6:40am, thinking that you will get to your destination in 5-10 minutes.. only to find you are stuck in traffic while in the 3-in-1 zone! By then, it is too late to exit and take the back road.. My logic says, you cannot be faulted for abnormal traffic that triples, or even quadruples, your journey time!

And second, if the aim of the 3-in-1 rule is lessen the number of cars, then I presume carpooling is a logical solution… But what happens after you drop off your passengers in their respective offices along the CBD? Does it mean the last two people, including the nice person who has offered to drive everyone, has to exit the zone and taking the back road? My response: Nope. Once you’re in, you’re in.

That said, I am still planning to leave earlier tomorrow morning just in case I won’t be so lucky tomorrow…

What do you guys think? With me, or with the policeman?

*Taffy is my lil car, my steadfast companion in my Jakarta life.