A 62-year-old Jakarta man died from a suspected heart attack while crossing a major overpass on his road bike, officials say, with his death coming amid debates about the feasibility of the elevated road for bikers.
According to reports, the victim, identified by his initial J, was found alone and leaning against the concrete barrier on the Kampung Melayu-Tanah Abang overpass on Sunday morning. J was taken to the nearby Tarakan Hospital in Central Jakarta, where he passed away.
J’s family said that while he rode his bike most days, he had a heart condition and required the insertion of a coronary stent 15 years ago.
“We suspect [it was a heart attack]. The family also confirmed his history of heart conditions,” Jakarta Transportation Agency’s Traffic Department head Rudy Saptari said.
J’s death came on the same day that the Transportation Agency trialed shutting off the overpass to vehicles and turning it into a bike lane from 5am to 9am.
The planned policy raised eyebrows as motorcycles have been banned from going on the overpass since it was opened in 2013, with the Transportation Agency arguing that motorcyclists may be knocked off the elevated road by strong winds.
In the case of cyclists, the Transportation Agency said riding on the overpass is safe early in the morning before wind strength picks up later in the day. Motorcyclists had never been afforded the same privilege.