City’s five jogger-friendly sidewalks

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The Jakarta Post | Friday November 11, 2016 | Page 5

Good sidewalks are one of the indicators of a livable city. The Jakarta administration is currently revamping sidewalks in many parts of the capital to encourage residents to take public transportation and walk more. However; some areas already have good sidewalks that are even comfortable enough for jogging. Here are five of them.

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MONAS

The National Monument (Monas) park in Central Jakarta is a famous tourist destination. Other than going for a picnic and enjoying the view of the monument, many Jakartans visit Monas for exercising, as it is equipped with basketball, futsal and volleyball fields.

Besides the facilities, pedestrian areas surrounding the park are perfect for running. The best thing about the 4-kilometer sidewalk around Monas is that it is under the shade of big trees, thereby protecting pedestrians from the sun.

In 2013, then-Jakarta governor Joko “Jokowi” Widodo installed park benches along the sidewalk, so joggers could take a rest while going about their physical activity.

Pedestrian Coalition chairman Alfred Sitorus considered Monas the only part of the city where the sidewalk was suitable for running. “For now, we only have Monas,” he said.

 

SCBD

Although they are not particularly wide, the sidewalks in the Sudirman Central Business District (SCBD) in Central Jakarta are quite comfortable for jogging, as they are paved well. Located in the business district with high security measures in place, the SCBD sidewalks are free from street vendors and parked vehicles.

They also form a good network, allowing visitors and tenants to easily walk around and move from one building to another.

The sidewalks in SCBD are usually crowded during office hours on weekdays, as the buildings are dedicated to offices, hotels, shopping centers and entertainment centers, aside from condominiums.

 

SENAYAN’S JL. PINTU GELORA1

Passing the Senayan sport complex, the sidewalk of Jl. Pintu Gelora 1 in Central Jakarta is one of the favorite spots for joggers in the capital.

Rani, a 27-year-old running enthusiast, said she often jogged on. the sidewalk during her spare time, as it was wide and had a flat surface.

“The best time to run in Jakarta is after 8 p.m. after the number of vehicles drops,” she said.

She said the plus point of the sidewalk was that it was near a shopping center, which had shower rooms where she could hike a shower before heading home to Bekasi after exercising.

 

KUNINGAN

Although the sidewalk on Jl. Rasuna Said is not in good shape, a section of this route near the Rasuna Epicentrum is worth a try for runners.

The superblock of offices, entertainment center and apartments is equipped with vast sidewalks that are friendly for pedestrians.

The area is also quiet as it lies off the main road. “It is important to run on empty sidewalks, so we can keep the pace,” Rani said.

 

EAST FLOOD CANAL (BKT)

The open green space on the bank of the East Flood Canal in Duren Sawit, East Jakarta, has become a popular spot for residents of the area to hang out and exercise, especially on weekends.

A long shady bicycle lane, which is free from motorcycles and cars, is perfect for a morning jog.

While a good sidewalk usually means being clear of street vendors, people who often go to the East Flood Canal apparently think it should be otherwise.

Joggers there can easily meet sausage or beverage vendors along the track. However, their presence is not a problem, as the vendors do not overcrowd the sidewalk.