Sudirman Road runs through Jakarta’s central business district, the city’s most developed area. There are many office buildings and hotels. The road was constructed in the late 1940s as the foundation of the modern image of Jakarta. During the week, Sudirman Road is jammed with traffic, but on Sunday mornings during car-free hours (6 am-11 am) the big boulevard turns into a great place to run. “Car-free day” started as a government initiative to help reduce pollution. Over the years it has developed into a hugely popular meet-up for thousands of runners, cyclists, and walkers in Jakarta. The run includes sights of the business district’s impressive office towers and shopping malls among the buzzing atmosphere of the city. Our route is a 10 km out and back run starting from Ratu Plaza, but it can easily be extended into a 16 km out and back run from Ratu Plaza to Monas Monument and back. The full 8 km is closed to cars on Sundays.
Outside of the car-free time, the road is ‘runnable’ in the sense there are sidewalks, but there are lots of people and two lanes of cars each way so it’s not all that pleasant. But the Gelora Bung Karno Sports Complex is a popular spot to run just off Sudirman Rd. and next to the Convention Center.