Designing Streets for Enhanced Transit Service: The Jerusalem Experience

This paper is designed to highlight planning issues surrounding a traffic calming program downtown and the insertion of a 8.9 km (5.3 mile) busway into the streets of Jerusalem, an historic city of 3000 years. Jerusalem is home for its 760,000 Jewish and Arab residents, and is the capital of the State of Israel. Increasing traffic congestion and urban decay forced a reassessment of car oriented transportation policies and led to the construction of a first 13.8 km LRT line (8.6 mile), the North-South Busway (BRT), and an extensive CBD Traffic Calming Zone. Together with parking restrictions these measures aim to get local residents out of cars and into public transport; and to aid significantly in center city revitalization. Planning principals for the busway include: continuity; bus traffic control priority; reduction of number and width of traffic lanes and other geometric standards; traffic impact mitigation by areawide traffic plans, turn prohibitions, and bypass roads; landscaping and other development features; pedestrian safety measures; disability access to stations; and parking and commercial vehicle accommodations. These principals were adapted to conditions in four typical sections: Outlying, Urban Arterial, Downtown Approach Streets, and Center City Streets. In some cases inadequate ROW had to be widened through land taking and demolition, but generally existing ROW was reallocated at the expense of private car lanes. In addition to transport objectives, downtown traffic calming assists downtown revitalization through improving pedestrian ambience and lowered noise and pollution levels. It is an area approach, in which traffic flows at up to 30 kph for local access only. The major elements of a street designated for traffic calming include: an entry "gate", including raised pavement and landscaping elements; reduced lane width and numbers; reduction of onstreet parking; raised elements serving as speed humps; reduced turning radii; and staggered sections. Public participation was encouraged in project planning, but still many problems were only solved at the implementation stage. Downtown renewal has been successful with many optimistic signs for the future. The busway has met its traffic goals but has been marred by pedestrian accidents. These and other lessons learned should be applied in future projects.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: CD-ROM
  • Features: Figures; Maps; Photos;
  • Pagination: 26p
  • Monograph Title: 3rd Urban Street Symposium: Uptown, Downtown, or Small Town: Designing Urban Streets That Work, June 24-27, 2007, Seattle, Washington

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01091756
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Mar 28 2008 2:08PM