Tuesday, February 05, 2008

My Jerusalem Pet Peeve

As any regular reader of JoeSettler (and shouldn’t you all be?) knows, my pet peeve against Jerusalem is the city engineer and how he has destroyed the roads in central Jerusalem.

His goal is to make life so miserable for anyone with a car, that they will never want to drive to the center of town again and actually support the local merchants.

But what does the City Engineer care? He doesn’t. He’s said so himself in an interview with the Jerusalem Post a few months back.

But it is worse than that.

As anyone driving knows, they’ve divided what was once normal main roads into two divided lanes – the public transportation lane for buses and taxis, and a second single lane for everyone.

So what happens?

The public transportation lane is usually empty, except for the occasional bus, and the taxis zipping by. And the single lane is usually jam packed and not moving.

Of course, half the time it isn’t moving is only because of… the taxis.

You see, not only do the taxis use the public transportation lane for zipping past the traffic, they also use it to cut into the front of the regular lane and block all the traffic in our single lane so they can pick up and let out their customers.

That’s right. I have been stuck sitting in that single lane (with no turnoffs anymore for private cars) for no end after taxis have the audacity to zip in front of the lane and block all our traffic while they cruise for fares or sit there for 10 minutes (no exageration) while the passenger looks for exact change and struggles to get out of the car.

Whew. Got that out of my system.

Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael טובה הארץ מאד מאד


Anonymous said...

Go eat a waffle.

Anonymous said...

Do you know what a horn is for? You must not be from NY!

Anonymous said...

why not just go around the taxi?

that's how we do it in new york...

Baila said...

Hey stop ragging on the guy. Driving in J-m has got to be the most frustratin experience. Yesterday I drove to J-m and today to Tel Aviv. And J.S. is exactly right--first of all it would be nice if the lanes were marked for which kind of traffic they were (for public, taxis or regular drivers), second of all if you get in the wrong lane (because they weren't well marked) you have to make a turn and can't go straight-the traffic signals don't allow that. And of course, because it's Jerusalem, you can't just turn around you have to drive for 20 minutes before you arrive at your starting point.

But it's great to see more of Jerusalem. Just don't drive there if you're in a rush.

Anonymous said...

Its a hard thing to do if coming from outside of jerusalem, you have to take a bus which are not many from where joe settler lives.

I have a huge backpack I use to fill my purchases in.. also lucky for me the 160 to kiryat arba stops outside kinyan malcha which makes up for it not going thru town.

I would like more parking outside the city and shuttles to town.. say a shtuule from pisgat zev / hisme lot to town..

Traffic congestion is worse than the words.. I remember waiting a hour as traffic was backed up by hizme checkpoint when I lived in the shomron.

The minharot checkpoiunt has nasty traffic too. The traffic light by efrat SHOULD HAVE BEEN put by hussan / beitar turn off.

Coming off begin to Sdarut hertzel is pretty congested.

The city's answer to traffic is messed up..

But generaly speaking, get the cars off the road and stick to busses.

The light rail will hopefully solvce the problem.

Anonymous said...

1) You can't go around the taxis because they built a divider to prevent private cars from leaving the single lane.

The only gap is at the street corners, and that is where the taxis zip in from, and then block all the traffic.

2)My wife sits on the horn. Taxis don't care.

3) The proper name for the light rail is not "Rakevet Hakala" but "Rakevet Takalah" (Stuck Train)

Anonymous said...

I actually drove over the divider on King George last week, for the reasons of frustration you describe: A very liberating experience.

Anonymous said...

I guess you don't have the right type of horn - try honking with the horn of a GMC safari - it can wake the dead :-)

As a Jerusalemite, I agree with you - but you should see the traffic on Rechov Abu Tor. Two buses (arab) are coming - one in each direction, and the road would be a one way street in civilized countries .... somehow, my car was only bashed by a bus once - and they even paid after I drove them crazy for 3 months!

Anonymous said...

Jerusalem just is not built to handle this congestion!

Ever get stuck in traffic on rechov malchei yisrael in geula ?

Yafo cant absorb this amount of traffic!

This is the price you pay for driving in town.. next time park away from town and walk...

I lived in town for 3 years and whitnessed this crazyness.

Thursday night everyone parks on the sidewalks!

Kikar safara has a underground parking lot.. but no one wants to pay..

Sorry chabibi.. we cant handle every arse jamming the town.. its great right ? thats what israel was about right ?

How the heck is this country going to get anywhere if everyone is stuck in traffic ?

JoeSettler said...

PP: You drove on the divider!
You are my hero!

(Did I just write that?)

Anonymous said...

Ha! Yes, you did!

Anonymous said...

Though the public transportation lane is empty most of the time, it still probably is used by more people than the car lane, because more people travel in each vehicle at one time.

Almost Jerusalem said...


Though I agree that there should be a light (or kikar) at the 375 (husan/Beitar) turnoff, I disagree that it should be instead of the Efrat light. How about "In addition to?".

That light has turned getting out of Efrat heading South from a nightmare into a pleasure.

Some people have argued that a roundabout would have been better, and perhaps that is the case.

Either of them would be very welcome at the 375/60 junction.

Anonymous said...

Almost jerusalem... a roundabout in middle of highway 60? i'd suspect that 50 cars a day would fly over it CRASH.. plus a traffic light they can ticket..;)

375 needs something! a arab and a gun from hussan / beit jalla could oick the cars off like ducks.. any beitarians arent armed.

Anonymous said...

There already was an accident between a car and a donorcycle on 60, when the car ran the spanking new red light.

Commenter Abbi said...

My solution: I lived in J-m for 6 years and I think I went to town close a total of 5-6 times in total (that includes the occasional trip i had to take to the Maccabi clinic on Aggripas, although those times I shelled out for parking).

I did all of my shopping in Talpiot or the mall. Plenty of free parking and cheap supermarkets.

Not as much atmosphere as the shuk, but much less frustration and angst (and much easier to maneuver with kids/big food shopping).

I feel sorry for the merchants in town, but my sanity comes first.

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