Monday, May 23, 2016

Downtown Jerusalem, Like a Pedestrian Wonderland

When the Jerusalem Light Rail was being planned and constructed, everyone was so inconvenienced and pessimistic about it. It was clear to all that it would be a disaster and a deadly one, Gd forbid. Statistics from other cities were bandied about, and we expected quite a few deaths each year from careless pedestrians and distracted train drivers.

Amazingly, bli eyin haraa, Jerusalemites have taken very well to the trains and the tracks, which are empty most of the time. And, as you can see in the picture, Jaffa Road fills with pedestrians, cyclist etc when there's no train to be seen. And the trains are equipped with loud horns to convincly urge everyone out of the way when necessary.

For those of us who have always gone to the downtown  Jerusalem "triangle*," we are enjoying the new reality. The air is much clearer without the bus fumes and other pollutants. We've learned how to get our tickets and pay for the train rides. It's hard to remember what Jerusalem was like just a few years ago before the train...  Yes, very much like how only a few of us oldtimers remember when there was vehicular traffic on Ben-Yehuda Street, even taxi stands.

Things change. Yes, that's life.

*the "triangle" is the area between Jaffa Road, Ben-Yehuda Street and King George Avenue, which forms a triangle.


Leora said...

I loved riding the lightrail. They do need to improve on instructions for tourists and for Israelisome who don't come often to Jerusalem. Thanks for your overview of the system.

Batya Medad said...

Glad you enjoyed it.
The train is more pleasant than buses but still just one line.