The Jerusalem and Tel Aviv municipalities announced separate pedestrian projects Monday that will see streets closed off to cars, as the country gradually reopens after months of closure forced by the coronavirus outbreak.
While in Jerusalem several central streets will be open only to pedestrians for hours at a time in the evenings over the next few months, Tel Aviv is trying out a more far-reaching initiative that would see many segments of side streets closed to vehicles permanently.
The Tel Aviv project is meant to examine the environmental effect, although it involves closure of a total of some two kilometers of street that usually do not see much traffic. Public benches and other seating areas will be placed in those street segments.
Reports didn’t say when the project will begin. The municipality said the project was going ahead without connection to the coronavirus crisis.
The project mirrors similar initiatives around the world, although in cities like Paris and Milan it involved closing lanes in long, central roads.
The 11 street segments that will be closed to vehicles in Tel Aviv are:
- Nahalat Binyamin Street, between Kalischer and Rothschild
- Ha’arba’a Street, between Karlebach and Da Vinci
- An area between Ben Atar, Vital, Cordovero and Frankel Streets in the Florentin neighborhood
- Daniel Street, between Hacarmel and Herbert Samuel
- Ashtori Hafarhi Street
- Simtat Aluf Batslut, between Nahalat Binyamin and Hashuk
- Najara Street in the Kerem Hateimanim neighborhood
- Segula Street
- Yossi Ben Yossi Street in Jaffa
- Simtat Beit Habad — during the evening and night
- Additionally, an area of Levinsky Street currently closed to vehicles during part of the week will be closed off 24/7
In Jerusalem, the closures will have a much more dramatic effect on traffic, since they include central streets such as Hillel, Agripas, Azza, Emek Refaim and Derech Beit Lechem. However, each road will be closed only twice a week in the evening hours, and only until the end of August.
Street shows will be held, with the project aimed at supporting restaurants and stores battered by the virus closures.
The initiative is set to begin when restaurants are reopened and end August 31, with a possible extension until October 31.
The street segments that will be temporarily closed to vehicles in Jerusalem are:
- Hillel Street, between Hahistadrut and Menashe Ben Yisrael, on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5 to 11 p.m.
- Shamai Street, on Mondays and Wednesdays from 5 to 11 p.m.
- Queen Shlomziyon Street, between Hasoreg and Yanai, on Fridays from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
- Shushan Street, on Sundays through Thursdays, from 7 to 11 p.m.
- Agripas, Beit Yaakov, Hadekel, Hashikma and Ha’armonim Streets at the Mahane Yehuda Market, on Wednesdays from 7 to 11 p.m. and Thursdays from 8:30 to 11 p.m. All those streets, besides Agripas, will also be closed on Fridays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
- Azza Street, between the Gan Rehavia and Arlozorov, on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6 to 11 p.m., and on Fridays from 12 to 3 p.m.
- Emek Refaim Street, between Wedgwood and Rachel Imenu, on Wednesdays and Thursdays between 5:30 and 11 p.m.
- Derech Beit Lechem, between Yehuda and Miriam HaHashmonait, on Mondays and Tuesdays from 6 to 11 p.m.
- The municipality is also considering including in the project a segment of either Salah ad-Din Street or Sultan Suleiman Street in East Jerusalem.