Deserted: Traffic on the normally busy Jl. HR Rasuna Said in South Jakarta is extremely light on Saturday afternoon. More than five million Jakartans have left the capital to celebrate the first day of Idul Fitri in their hometowns. Motorists should be able to enjoy such traffic-free streets in Jakarta for about a week after the religious holiday. (JP/Rizqi Arifuddin)
With more than half the city's population out of the capital for the Idul Fitri holiday, Jakarta has turned into a calmer city for its remaining residents with traffic running smoothly and without any significant congestion.
Elaine Tan, a resident of Cipete in South Jakarta, decided to use her holiday to wander across the city during business hours.
“Today, I went to Cilandak, Mampang and Senayan, all in South Jakarta, and experienced no traffic jams,” Elaine said on Saturday.
The 23-year-old girl said she only spent 30 minutes to reach home from Senayan, adding that “usually, I spend up to 90 minutes getting home from there”.
As of Saturday, traffic on the city’s main streets, like Jl. Sudirman in Central Jakarta, Jl. Gatot Subroto, Jl. Cassablanca, Jl. Dr Satrio and Jl. HR Rasuna Said in South Jakarta, which are usually very crowded, was relatively light.
More than 5 million Jakartans have left the capital city,which is inhabited by around 10 million people, to celebrate Idul Fitri in their hometowns. Lighter traffic is expected to last throughout the coming week.
Syalindra Citra, 23, chose to go to Kelapa Gading in North Jakarta from her home in Rawamangun, East Jakarta.
“I got to Kelapa Gading quicker than usual. I love Jakarta the most at times like this,” Citra said happily.
Jakartans are indeed enjoying the quieter roads, which is a luxury for them. Kenny Adhiwardana, 24, for instance, wished that the luxury would last longer.
On Saturday, Kenny drove from his home in Cipinang, East Jakarta, to Darmawangsa, South Jakarta via Jl. Casablanca, which is notorious for traffic congestion.
“I prefer to avoid [Jl. Casablanca] because I can get trapped for more than half an hour in heavy traffic,” he said.
Without the usual traffic congestion, he said he could more easily calculate the amount of time needed to travel between different parts of the city and, therefore, reduce the likelihood of missing an appointment.
“We can save both time and energy when the streets are free from congestion. Besides that, it is not stressful to drive in traffic which is moving smoothly,” he said. (riz/iwa)