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Jerusalem and Tel Aviv announce shuttering of small streets to boost commerce

The Jerusalem and Tel Aviv municipalities have both announced separate projects 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 the 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.

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.

— Michael Bachner

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