Modiin drivers traveling towards Jerusalem on Route 443 continue to complain about the traffic jams on the road. Some of them have said that find themselves stuck in traffic for over an hour without moving. Since Route 443 was opened to Palestinian vehicles last May, the checkpoint has been moved towards Jerusalem in the Ofer area. The drivers that travel on the road, almost all of whom are Israeli, are forced to go through the IDF checkpoint situated on the road, which is made up of three lanes. An additional lane is currently being cleared that is supposed to relieve traffic, but the road work is expected to continue for another few months until its opening.
"I stood still for two weeks in a traffic jam on the way to Jerusalem this week," says Edmond Yamin, a resident of the Nevi'im neighborhood in Jerusalem. "There are days when the traffic jam starts at Beit Horon, and we just stand there from there for Jerusalem. The checkpoints on the way make the traffic worse, and it just turns into a nightmare. It can't be that we'll [have to] drive this way every morning."
"There are particularly bad days and hours," adds a driver, who is an Avanei Chen resident. "I leave for work in the morning and don't know exactly when I'll arrive. This week, it happened that I took the bus. It took me three hours to get from Modiin to Jerusalem."
Yamin says that he has turned to the relevant authorities at the municipality several times, but that they repeatedly say that the problem is being dealt with and will soon be solved. "I have already heard that they have turned to the Central Command," he says, "and also that they have opened a third lane. In practice, I sit in a traffic jam all morning, and it is unbearable. It is time that they treat this problem seriously."
"We are aware of the problem and have spoken about it several times with the Central Command," said Deputy Mayor and Transportation Portfolio Holder Chanan Bernstein. "[Route 443] is a "national" road that we are not responsible for, nor do we have any authority over it. We have turned to the Central Command anyway, and requested that the traffic flow be made smoother than on the road. They are currently working to widen the Ofer Passageway, and it will be easier when this process is completed -- but it is a process that takes time. Drivers that encounter this problem can always turn to the Public Works Department by phone: *2120. The Israel National Roads Company listen to what goes on on 443 and deal with every problem."
The Modiin Municipality has replied that "the municipality officials have dealt with the topics with the senior officials at the Ministry of Defense and directly with the Central Command, who have begun to widen the passageway next to Camp Ofer to double its three current lanes to six lanes in the future."
via mynet. Click here to view original article.
Tuesday, October 12, 2010