Jakarta – The Jakarta administration claims that its decision to remove the roof of a pedestrian bridge on Jl. Sudirman connecting Wisma Bumiputera and Astra Tower has received widespread support from residents in the capital.
Jakarta Bina Marga Road Agency head Hari Nugroho even went so far as to say that around 80 percent of residents approved the move.
"Look at the netizens' response. Most of them, up to 80 percent, agreed that [the bridge] should remain [open-aired]," Hari said as quoted by Antara news agency.
He said residents agreed because of the aesthetic of the roofless bridge and that it felt more spacious and offered a new view, while the remaining 20 percent who disagreed raised concerns over heat and rain.
"There are pros and cons, but we listened to the majority; 80 percent [of the public] likes the roofless bridge," Hari said, without revealing further details on the survey and its methodology.
He went on to say that before the pedestrian bridge turned roofless, not a lot of people used it compared to now, with people using the bridge to cross the road and take selfies.
"That pedestrian bridge was deserted. Once we removed the roof, it became more crowded. We used to be able to count [with fingers] how many people crossed there because most would prefer to pass by Dukuh Atas or in front of Le Meridien Hotel," Hari said.
Tha Jakarta Bina Marga Road Agency has set a budget of Rp 39.24 billion (US$2.78 million) for the construction, maintenance and planning of pedestrian bridges, with allocations of Rp 31.23 billion, Rp 6 billion and Rp 2 billion, respectively, for this year.
According to the Jakarta Development Planning Board (Bappeda), the pedestrian bridge construction project has used 3.5 percent of its total budget as of Nov. 6, while maintenance and planning have used 20.5 percent and 15 percent of the budget, respectively. (ami)