Jakarta Car Free Day makes a comeback

When you live in a big city that is not only heavily reliant on cars and motorcycles, but also lacks public parks for outdoor activities, blocking off major roads to cars once a week so that residents can exercise and socialize outside can be a solution.

Jakarta has had Car Free Day (CFD), which falls on Sundays, for a while now, but due to COVID-19, it has been suspended since mid-April. While Jakartans have still been able to exercise outdoors – such as cycling – without the weekly Jakarta Car Free Day, Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan recently announced that the program will make a comeback in several stages starting this coming Sunday, 21st June 2020.

Jakarta Car Free Day will be re-introduced in phases

Drone angle of Jakarta CFD before PSBBSudirman-Thamrin Car Free Day before COVID-19
Image credit: @nonasweet1101

As reported by The Jakarta Post and Kompas, Governor Anies announced on 14th June 2020 that although Jalan Sudirman and Jalan M. H. Thamrin will be blocked off from 6AM to 11AM for pedestrians to enjoy starting 21st June 2020, the types of activities conducted during the first CFD after a long hiatus will be limited.

Usually, CFD doesn’t only give Jakartans a chance to exercise outdoors, but it also doubles as a sort of pop-up market – with street vendors selling all types of food and trinkets lining the streets. It’s by and large a social activity. 

Sunday morning in Jakarta during PSBBThamrin on a Sunday during large-scale social restrictions
Image credit: @lyneeli

But this Sunday, street vendors, or pedagang kaki lima, will not be allowed to set up shop yet. Only socially-distanced cycling and other outdoor exercises such as jogging and aerobics will be permitted.

Due to the festivalesque nature of pre-COVID-19 practices, CFD will be reintroduced in phases to encourage safe distancing and safeguard visitors’ health. It won’t immediately go back to how it was before.

Exercise safely during Jakarta Car Free Day by maintaining a safe distance

Until the COVID-19 situation in Jakarta and other parts of Indonesia improve significantly, residents of this megacity need to be extra cautious when entering public spaces.

If you decide to enjoy your next car-free Sunday morning along Sudirman-Thamrin, be sure to maintain a safe distance from other cyclists, joggers, and pedestrians. And don’t forget to have a face mask and hand sanitizer on you.

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Cover image adapted from: @bayu505ro and @lyneeli

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