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Jakarta Post

Car Free Day to return Sunday for outdoor exercise only

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Mon, June 15, 2020   /   03:12 pm
Car Free Day to return Sunday for outdoor exercise only People ride bicycles around Bundaran HI traffic circle in Central Jakarta on Sunday, May 31. Many residents are still exercising in the area even though the weekly Car Free Day (CFD) has been suspended amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Antara/Rivan Awal Lingga)

The Jakarta administration is set to resume the weekly Car Free Day (CFD) on Jl. Sudirman and Jl. MH Thamrin this coming Sunday, but activities will be restricted to bicycle riding and outdoor exercise, with street vendors prohibited from operating.

"We will resume the Car Free Day next week for exercise only," Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan said on Sunday.

The weekly event has been suspended since March 15 as part of the city administration's efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19.

Many Jakartans take advantage of the car-free thoroughfares every Sunday from 6 a.m to 11 a.m to exercise, jog and ride bicycles, or simply to enjoy street food and walking with friends and family.

With the capital starting to ease its COVID-19 restrictions, the Jakarta Transportation Agency set up pop-up bike lanes along Jl. Sudirman and Jl. MH Thamrin on Sunday for the many residents taking up cycling to commute and exercise during the so-called "new normal" period.

Read also: Jakartans turn to bicycles to commute in ‘new normal’

"We designated one lane specifically for bicycles. However, the cyclists exceeded the capacity of the lane," Anies said.

"That is why [during CFD] next week, the entire street will be set aside for cyclists, joggers and pedestrians," he said.

Anies himself was seen riding a bicycle on Sunday morning alongside Jakarta Deputy Governor Ahmad Riza Patria at the Bundaran HI traffic circle in Central Jakarta.

While he is yet to give further details on what activities will be permitted for CFD during the transition phase out of large-scale social restrictions (PSBB), Anies has declared that street vendors will be prohibited from selling food and goods during the weekly event.

"We will not yet allow street vendors to operate during CFD because it has the potential to gather crowds," he said.

Read also: More than public space, Car Free Day serves as arena to voice political dissent

Under normal circumstances, street vendors are allowed to operate in the designated green zones of Jl. Karet Pasar Baru, Jl. Galunggung, Jl. Blora, Jl. Purworejo, Jl. Sumenep, Jl. Pamekasan, Jl. Teluk Betung, Jl. Kebon Kacang and Jl. Sunda during CFD. 

Anies has decided to extend the PSBB period until the end of June and has said the capital is entering a transition phase in which restrictions will be gradually eased in different sectors after reports that the daily reproduction number (Rt) of COVID-19 had decreased below one.

Meanwhile, according to official figures, Jakarta recorded 117 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Sunday, bringing the total number of confirmed infections in the capital to 8,978. Jakarta has also recorded 555 fatalities thus far. (trn)