Four months ago the much anticipated Jerusalem light rail was launched after years of construction. (The future of the Tel Aviv light rail has yet to be seen.) The new light rail provides another convenient, comfortable means of public transportation within the city and further eliminates the need for gas-guzzling and carbon emitting personal vehicles. It is not proving convenient for one environmentally significant group of Jerusalem residents, however: the cyclists. Despite the fact that the light rail cars have a device specifically for storing bikes, bicycles are forbidden aboard the Jerusalem light rail.
Cycle Jerusalem, a group of local cyclists, is protesting the issue with a Critical Mass today starting at Safra Square.
Critical Mass is a cycling event typically held on the last Friday of each month in over 300 cities around the world, and is often intended as a way for bikes to “take back the streets” from personal vehicles.
Before organizing today’s protest, Cycle Jerusalem approached the Minister of Transportation, the mayor of Jerusalem and the company managing the light rail. All three parties refused to take responsibility or to provide a reason why bikes could not be allowed on the trains.
It looks like whoever is responsible is missing a golden opportunity to promote sustainable urban transportation within Jerusalem. There are no bike paths leading to the light rail, no secure bike parking devices at the light rail stations, and no bikes allowed on board.
Read more about cycling in Jerusalem:
Critical Mass of Cyclists to Test Jerusalem’s Bike Paths
The Cycling Nightlife in Jerusalem
Israel Becomes a Nation of Pedalers (Cycling Freaks)
Image via: Cycle Jerusalem