Jakarta Plans ‘Car-Free Night’ on New Year’s Eve
Lenny Tristia Tambun
To reduce traffic congestion on New Year’s Eve, motorized vehicles will be barred from entering the capital’s main roads — Jalan Sudirman, Jalan Thamrin and Jalan Medan Merdeka Barat — Jakarta Governor Joko Widodo said on Tuesday.
“We came to this agreement after a meeting with Jakarta’s Forum Komunikasi Pimpinan Daerah this afternoon. We want no motorized vehicles to run on New Year’s Eve,” Joko said at City Hall on Tuesday, referring to a regional leadership forum.
Car-Free Night, as the initiative is dubbed, will take place on Monday, Dec. 31, beginning at 9 p.m. and running until 2 a.m. on New Year’s Day.
People who want to partake in New Year’s celebrations will be able to walk freely along Jakarta’s busiest streets, which span about seven kilometers in total and typically see bumper-to-bumper traffic during the festivities.
“The point is, [people can] walk from Sudirman to Thamrin and Medan Merdeka Barat. [They can] walk along seven kilometers. Not driving cars, no motorcycles either,” he said.
But Joko said the Car-Free Night plan was not yet final, adding that further discussions with the local government would take place.
“The Jakarta government will organize it, but the funding is from sponsors.
“Regarding security, we have discussed it in the meeting. There will be no problem with its implementation. All security personnel are ready,” Joko said.
Effendi Anas, head of Jakarta’s Public Order Agency (Satpol PP), said he would assign 1,312 personnel to secure the city over the Christmas and New Year’s holidays.
They will be dispersed across 24 churches around the capital, concentrated in Central Jakarta and North Jakarta. Tight security will be assembled at the Jakarta Cathedral across from Istiqlal Mosque, as it is the biggest church in Jakarta.
Effendi said the security personnel would be deployed from Dec. 22 through Dec. 31.