November Car Free Day in Surabaya

Car free day, is trying to answer the issue of air pollution in the City Surabaya. What is  car free day?. The following interview, with the Head of the Environment Agency (BPLH) of Surabaya, Togar Arifin Silaban.

What is the background of car free day, so, BPLH carry out this program ?

I need to return back slightly. So, why we’re making the program the day activities without motor vehicles because we want public to care about air quality. We all should know, the motor vehicles  resulting smoke or often called emissions. Each vehicle, either two-wheel, four-wheels, or more,  they contribute to air quality and affect the air quality in the city of Surabaya.

How big the influence of motor vehicles on air quality in Surabaya?

Based on the data that we obtained, the number of vehicles operating in Surabaya now about more than 1 million units. This amount may still increase because the flow of vehicles from adjacent areas such as, Mojokerto, Sidoarjo, Gresik, Bangkalan, all also operate in Surabaya.

In one day, the number of vehicles in Surabaya, could reach 1.2 million units. All vehicles  generate smoke, and we are living in Surabaya, we inhale the smoke. Then,  the city becomes not healthy, including residents. Therefore, we want to invite the people to maintain the quality of air in order to remain healthy and good for our future children and grandchildren.

What extent of the influence of gas emissions to human health?

Two weeks ago, I attended an international seminar. There is a study in Bangkok on the health of traffic police and the police who work in the office. The result shows, the pollution in the respiratory or lung between the police in the field, and the one in office is much difference. The  lung of the police in the field is more polluted. This is one of the reason to reinforce the car free day.

What are the actual contents of the gas emissions that endanger the health ?

Motor vehicle emits several chemical gases, such as carbon dioxide (CO2), carbon monoxide (CO), hydrocarbons and the particulates; they are result of burning fuel. These gases are not good for health. When, the combustion process in the engine is not appropriate, the concentration of these gases can be more dangerous for human health.

Why there is a gap in the implementation of car free day?

We have a pause moment to prepare and to improve the implementation of car free day. The most important is how we will cary out in much better.

What consequences car free day on the flow of traffic?

We will close the Darmo road from motor vehicles, from the hours of 6 am until 10 am. During four hours, there will be no motor vehicles on the street, from the crossroad of Soetomo Road until the crossroad within the Masjid Al-Fallah. We did this on last 24 August. As a consequence, the traffic will be diverted to surrounding streets.

Will there be exceptions?

No one motor vehicle that can go through, except in emergency condition, such as  ambulance or car extinguisher (fire fighters). So, if the is any emergency, we will allow the ambulance or the fire fighetrs to use the street during the car free day.


The transcript is taken and traslated from the SINDO newspaper, Sunday, 23 November 2008.


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