Monday, January 17, 2011

Sure is crowded downtown

This week, after 150 years as Jerusalem's main artery, Jaffa Street is now closed to traffic.
Between Tsahal Square and Machaneh Yehuda market the street will be a pedestrian mall, open only to people and the new light rail.
Enlarge this photo for a rear view (and a smile).
Trial runs of the trams are supposed to start this week in this section, so workmen were busy trying to finish the job.
These three were caulking the roof of the Machaneh Yehuda station.
Across the street, this technician or engineer (judging from his nice clean jeans) was fiddling with the more high tech stuff inside.
A hundred men were hired to stand on Jaffa Street and explain to confused shoppers where to find their bus.
They also tried to speed up the bus traffic by helping the old folks with their many bags full of fruit and vegetables onto the buses, even through the rear door.
Some handed out pamphlets explaining the new light rail and how great it will be.
This help (from a private firm) will cost 100,000 shekels per day for the 100 "traffic assistants" and for the materials to explain the changes.
The trams were supposed to be in service starting in April, but now they are saying more like August.
Some 2,000 buses go through downtown Jerusalem along parallel Nevi'im, Agrippas, and Jaffa Streets every day. Now, with Jaffa St. closed down, the congestion is even worse.
More about the situation in the Jerusalem Post.
But still, it is exciting to see our Jerusalem lion on the shiny new trams!
That's the current situation for That's My World Tuesday.


Rob and Mandy said...

Gosh, what a chaos this will be!
100.000 shekel a day, divided by 100 helpers... 1000 shekel a day a helper? Some company will make a lot of money. Dear helpers, don't even start thinking you'll get 1000 shekel for a days work. If you really do, wait for me, I'm coming!!!

Dina said...

Rob and Mandy, Yeah, you and me both.
I checked the JPost article again. It said 100,000 will also cover the cost of materials to explain the changes to bus routes. I added this to my post now.
Still, having the assistants very visible might have a calming effect on some of the confused public. (Like me.) But those who work and live and have businesses there are good and mad right now.

Robin said...

Traffic assistants? Helping seniors with their bags?

Toto, I don't think we're in Jerusalem any more...

My photography is available for purchase - visit Around the Island Photography and bring home something beautiful today!

Dina said...

Robin -- LOL!

noel said...


what a gorgeous tram, i don't think we will get anything like that in hawaii

thanks for sharing that with us today

aka Penelope said...

Sounds quite costly and confusing ... but those new trams do look so futuristic!

Sara said...

Having once been in the middle of that downtown traffic in a large open vehicle (someone else was driving), I remember the noise of everyone honking, and the apparent chaos of all those cars coming from every direction (or so it seemed) it is easy now to imagine the increase in the noise and exhaust fumes that this new change has caused. I feel sorry for those who must navigate it by car or on foot!

Starnitesky said...

Looks like it is going to be very confusing for people for a while until everyone gets used to the new system.

Anonymous said...

Everything looks so peaceful over there. How wonderful to read about a zone only to walk in, without cars and alike. Always a safe road ahead for the Tram and you all.

daily athens

katney said...

Maybe it will ease when the light rail is up and running.

Leif Hagen said...

It would be fun to ride on those trams! Zoom, zoom!

Yogi♪♪♪ said...

That's interesting. I visited Austin, Texas last March just when their light rail was getting started. I took a long walk from downtown and happened upon one of the terminals. Me and about four other people spent about 15 minutes discussing the various conflicting schedules and instructions. We finally figured out that the next train wasn't due for another three hours. So we dispersed. I walked back downtown.

Kay L. Davies said...

This reminds me of the chaos in Vancouver, BC, when one of the main streets was closed down so the rapid transit could be installed before last year's Winter Olympics. Some stores were forced out of business by the construction. You can bet they were good and mad, and then some!!
-- K

Kay, Alberta, Canada
An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

Pietro said...

Nice and futuristic indeed! Our trams look obsolete in comparison.

VP said...

I like the shiny new trams but I can't really imagine them trundling along Jaffa Street or anywhere else in Jerusalem...
It is slways great to take pictures of something under construction!

Archaeogoddess said...

Every time I go to Jerusalem, all the roads have changed and I spend the first three days driving around in circles. (Hey, someone has to drive the dig van and pick up supplies.) The worst was right after the tunnel opened and I ended up half way across town going in the wrong direction and no way to exit! LOL!

Eki said...

I like the idea of a pedestrian mall - cities need more places like that to make people interact (which they can't do much if they drive).

Kay said...

I'm very jealous! I wish we had better mass transit in Hawaii. The traffic is awful over here.