DKI Jakarta Transportation Agency head Syafrin Liputo confirmed the move to Kompas.com on Wednesday, June 24. He has not given the Jakarta Provincial Administration’s reasons for discontinuing Car Free Day.
Questioning Car Free Day
The step comes after the Jakarta Regional Legislative Council [DPRD] questioned Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan’s decision to hold the event.
The critics included DPRD chairman Prasetio Edi Marsudi.
“The [Jakarta Provincial Administration’s decision to hold] Car Free Day last Sunday is questionable because many of those participating did not observe [health protocols],” said the Indonesian Party of Struggle [PDI-P] party legislator.
“If they want to turn out for Car Free Day, then they should abide by health protocols. I fear that if the Jakarta Provincial Administration does not intervene, then they will allow the growth of a new Covid-19 cluster.”
Indonesian Solidarity Party [PSI] legislator Justin Adrian agreed with Prasetio.
“The Jakarta Provincial Administration should cancel Car Free Day until the situation returns to normal,” he said. “Holding it now is a blatant disregard for the efforts of health workers in their fight against Covid-19.”
Justin proposed a local solution for exercise buffs.
“Instead of [holding Car Free Day] where large numbers of people will converge and cause [a coronavirus cluster], the Jakarta Provincial Administration should encourage the public to exercise near their homes and practice social distancing.”
Meanwhile, the legislators expressed concern over the low rates of testing during Car Free Day last Sunday.
Health workers carried out rapid testing on 600 out of 40,000 people who turned out during the event. Five initially reacted positive to the tests but were found negative following PCR tests.
Localizing Car Free Day
The Central Jakarta City Administration proposed that Car Free Day be held in a number of locations, instead of its current concentration in the Sudirman and Thamrin thoroughfares.
Also read: Jakarta to Reinstate Car Free Day
“We found that there are eight subdistricts in Central Jakarta that we can designate for Car Free Day,” said Central Jakarta Mayor Bayu Meghantara.
“They include Jalan Suryopranoto in the Gambir Subdistrict, Jalan Paseban Raya in the Senen Subdistrict, and Jalan Benyamin Sueb in the Kemayoran Subdistrict.”
Bayu suggested holding Car Free Day in various locales, so as to prevent a chain of infection that can occur when large numbers of people converge in one location.
(Writers: Ryana Aryadita Umasugi, Tria Sutrisna/Editors: Jessi Carina, Irfan Maullana)