June 14, 2020, 06.17 PM

JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com – Jakartans keen to make the most of the great outdoors on their weekends can now take heart, as the capital’s provincial administration is expected to
reinstate Car Free Day.

The step comes three months after the activity was curtailed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“We will carry out Car Free Day next Sunday, June 21” said Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan as he opened a bicycle lane stretching from the Sudirman and Thamrin thoroughfares.

Anies said that he decided to reinstate Car Free Day after he noted the bicyclists’ enthusiastic turnout. The bicycle lane will be opened from 6 in the morning to 6 in the evening on a daily basis.

Also read: Jakarta Prepares to Step Into the 'New Normal'

“The volume of bicyclists exceeded our estimates for the lane” he said. “Next week, we will fully use both streets for people who wish to bicycle, walk, and run for their exercise.”


Proceeding gradually

However, Anies added that those eager to highlight causes and advocacies, both of which are ubiquitous in Car Free Day, will have to wait.

“The reinstatement of Car Free Day in this transition phase will be done gradually. It will solely be carried out for exercise” he said.

“Food vendors are not permitted to sell their wares yet, so as to maintain social distancing guidelines” Anies added.

“The buying and selling [of street foods] might cause a large number of people to converge. We can keep a safe distance from one another bicycling or exercising on foot, but not buying and selling wares.”

Maintaining health protocols

Jakarta Transportation Agency head Syafrin Liputo noted the designated bicycle route will be on the left lane of the thoroughfares. However, he clarified Anies’ assertion that the lane is open to use by those turning out in Car Free Day.

Also read: Malls in Jakarta to Reopen On 15 June

“Those exercising by walking or running should use the sidewalks. Health protocols [against the coronavirus] will continue to be observed by the public as they carry out their activities, including bicycling” Syafrin said in a statement.

“These include social distancing, wearing masks, and maintaining cleanliness.”

“Personnel from the Transportation Agency and the Public Order Agency (Satpol PP) will be deployed to ensure that the public will observe health protocols. We will also install safety cones for the bicyclists’ safety.”

The Jakarta provincial government will also reinstate the three zones instituted for Car Free Day at the end of 2019. Divided into green, yellow and red zones, they entail increasing limitations on vendors, with the Hotel Indonesia roundabout and the surrounding areas being off limits.

Car Free Day was last held on March 15, before the Jakarta provincial administration curtailed the activity due to the coronavirus. (Writers: Nursita Sari,Ryana Aryadita Umasugi/ Editors: Nursita Sari,Egidius Patnistik)







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