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Jakarta Post

Jakarta Police brace for return traffic as long weekend ends

  • Moch. Fiqih Prawira Adjie

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Sun, November 1, 2020   /   08:08 am
Jakarta Police brace for return traffic as long weekend ends Vehicles pack the Jagorawi Toll road in Jakarta on Thursday as residents take advantage of the five-day weekend to take a trip outside the capital — despite calls from the government for them to stay home to avoid COVID-19 transmission. (Antara/Hafidz Mubarak)

The Jakarta Police are anticipating an uptick in traffic from travelers returning back to the capital on Saturday and Sunday, as the long weekend draws to a close.

Jakarta Police traffic director Sr. Comr. Sambodo Purnomo Yogo estimated that thousands of vehicles would enter the capital over the weekend, most coming from West Java.

“We will coordinate with the West Java Police to monitor the increase in traffic flow entering the main Cikampek and Kalihurip toll gates [Karawang, West Java],” he said on Saturday.

Sambodo said the traffic police had prepared several measures to efficiently handle the increase in vehicles and minimize congestion as best as possible, such as creating contraflow lanes and enforcing a one-way policy on routes under the jurisdiction of the Jakarta Police.

Read also: Hundreds of thousands leave Jakarta via land, air during long weekend

The unit will also coordinate with toll road operators to keep toll booths open and suspend toll payments if vehicle lines exceed 1 kilometer in length to prevent congestion.

Heavy traffic was recorded near tourist destinations on the outskirts of Jakarta on Saturday. A 2-km traffic jam packed roads heading to Jakarta from Puncak in Cianjur, West Java, with most vehicles bearing Jakarta license plates, kompas.com reported.

With the public holiday celebrating Prophet Muhammad’s birthday (Maulid) falling on Thursday, the government decided to add collective leave days on Wednesday and Friday, creative a five-day weekend.

Despite calls from the government and the national COVID-19 task force for residents to stay at home amid concerns of increased transmission, the extended weekend prompted many to travel out of the capital.

According to state-owned toll road operator PT Jasa Marga, more than 655,000 vehicles left Jakarta between Tuesday and Friday. Meanwhile, Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Tangerang, Banten, served 64,021 passengers on Wednesday, the highest figure since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak in March.