Anyone driving into Tel Aviv on a Sunday morning (the first day of the Israeli work week) knows that it’s a traffic nightmare. As the main hub of central Israel, many people need to get to work in Tel Aviv, bring goods into Tel Aviv, etc. And the congestion is a mess. In an attempt to free up the roads and create more space for efficient public transportation, Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz announced a few weeks ago that trucks will be banned from entering the greater Tel Aviv area on major roads during the morning rush hour.
After long-term plans for a light rail system in Tel Aviv fell through a few months ago, politicians have been scrambling to offer the city another efficient public transportation solution. Katz maintains that a rail system is still possible, and is presenting a proposal to the Israeli cabinet this month that would have the state fund the construction of a rail line. In the meantime, though, he is hoping that reducing congestion into the city will improve current bus routes.
(The previous light rail system, which had been in planning stages for several years, fell through because the state and the consortium that won the tender could not agree on terms.)
The pilot truck ban program will go into effect on January 1, 2011 and will ban trucks between 6am – 9am. The roads effected include the major highways leading into Tel Aviv (highways 4 and 5 and route 20) as well as the coastal roads.
A similar program began in Jerusalem a year ago, however trucks were diverted to another route that was appropriate. In the case of the pending Tel Aviv truck ban, no alternatives are being offered to the truckers. Moreover, the proposal was not coordinated with them. And so understandably, they’re not happy.
Image via: David King
Read more about transportation in Tel Aviv:
A New New Central Bus Station for Tel Aviv?
Tel Aviv Cyclists Use Their Hot Bodies to Protest the Naked Truth About Urban Cycling in Israel
Trekker’s Electric Scooters Fly Around the Streets of Tel Aviv