For the few who dared to take their vehicles in the capital this morning, Wednesday, 9 Nissan 5773 they were met with a pleasant surprise. The roads were relatively empty as most motorists opted to heed police warnings, to leave cars at home as the city prepares for the visit of US President Barak Obama. Air Force 1 is scheduled to touch down in Ben-Gurion International Airport at 12:25. Israeli air space will be closed to all air traffic 40 minutes ahead of touchdown.
Traffic during the morning hours in the capital was unusually light and by 11:00am, police could be seen at many intersections, their lime colored vests visible from a distance, taking up position as 15,000 police prepare for their role in maintaining order and protecting the visiting dignitary and his delegation.
Israel Police launched an information number that will operate during the entire Obama visit, which ends on erev Shabbos. That number is 1-700-553-100. Police report over 6,000 calls have already been received from Israelis seeking information pertaining to road closures, traffic alerts, parking regulations and other related information. Police report that the popular Waze app will be updated regularly during the presidential visit so the smart phone app will direct drivers with the realization that certain primary routes are closed.
Police plan to close the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv Highway from 13:15-14:15 from Ben-Gurion International Airport to the capital to permit the presidential convoy to travel to Yerushalayim. On erev Shabbos the road will close again when the convoy makes its way back to the airport.
On Thursday, when the president makes his way from Jerusalem to Ramallah, Route 60 will be closed from the Hizme Checkpoint in the direction of Beit El from 08:30-09:15. Police recommend the Alon Route and Route 465 from the British Police Station and Shilo Junction as alternates.
Jerusalem buses will be rerouted on occasion and streets will be closed. An area between the King David Hotel, the Prime Minister’s Residence and Rechavia will remain closed to vehicles during the visit as seen in the photo below. Light rail service is expected to continue without interruption.
Police add that areas of the capital that will be used for the president’s convoy will be closed 40 minutes before his arrival. On Wednesday, parking will be prohibited on a number of streets including Admoni, Meches Square, Paris Square, Agron, Ramban, Shmuel Weiss, Rupin, Palmer Square, Arlozorov, Museum Blvd., Israel Museum parking lot, Keren HaYesod and more. It is worthwhile checking with the police information number to be certain for parked cars will be towed without warning. The vehicles will be taken to HaPa’amon parking or Ammunition Hill parking.
STREET CLOSING SCHEDULE AS PROVIDED BY POLICE:
WEDNESDAY, 9 NISSAN: The following streets will be closed;
13:00-14:10: Museum Boulevard, Yosef Weiss, Rupin, Ramban, Agron, King David
14:50-16:00: King David, Palmer, Jabotinsky, HaNasi
16:20-20:10: HaNasi, Balfour
Beginning from 19:10: Smolansky, Keren HaYesod, Balfour, King David
THURSDAY, 10 NISSAN: The following streets will be closed:
07:50-09:15: King David, Agron, Ramban, Rupin, Weiss
09:25-10:45: Weiss, Museum Boulevard
15:00-16:15: Museum Boulevard, Wolfson, Lorech, Rabin, HaNasi HaShishi
15:40-17:00: Shazar, HaNasi HaShishi, Rabin, Lorech, Ramban, Agron, King David, David Remez, Derech Hebron, Yanovsky, HaAskan, Lincoln, Koretz
17:40-19:00: Koretz, Lincoln, HaAskan, Yanovsky, Derech Hebron, David Remez, King David
18:45-20:00: King David, Jabotinsky, HaNasi
21:00-22:15: HaNasi, Jabotinsky, King David
FRIDAY, 11 NISSAN: The following streets will be closed:
07:30-09:45: King David, Agron, Ramban, Rupin, Wolfson, Herzl Blvd, Mordechai Ish Shalom, Yefeh Nof, Mt. Herzl
09:30-10:45: Herzl Blvd, Yefeh Nof, Mordechai Ish Shalom, Herzl Blvd, Wolfson, Rupin, Ramban, Agron, King David
10:30-end of visit: King David, Agron, Ramban, Rupin, Weiss, Museum Blvd.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)