Jerusalem Contemplating Extension of Light Rail to the Kosel

(Tuesday, August 12th, 2008)

lr.jpgJerusalem’s chief engineer is now contemplating the expansion of the ongoing light rail construction, extending it to Dung Gate in the Old City, servicing riders wishing to visit the Kosel.

Apparently a meeting addressing the matter was held in secret on July 25th, deciding to meet clandestinely to avoid objections from representatives of the Jews, Christians and Muslims. The engineer feels that bringing the train so close to the Old City and its ancient cemeteries will create a storm among the religions.

According to the Yediot Achronot report, other participants in the meeting included the city’s architect, planner, and other senior professionals who would have a say in such a massive project. The proponents of the plan feel the move would significantly alleviate the vehicular congestion in the Old City and expedite travel to the Kosel.

They experts decided that the city’s transportation officials would prepare a master plan that would limit vehicular travel in the Old City and presenting the plan for the light rail to the Dung Gate. Yediot reports that any plans for having the light rail enter the Old City were scrapped for fear of trampling “Muslim religious sensitivities”. This reality resulted in the alternate plan, having the train travel to the Dung Gate via Chativat Yerushalayim Street and Maale Shalom to the gate, a short walk from the Kosel. The plan involves a 600-meter tunnel under Har Tzion.

No mention was made in the report regarding the cost of the extension of the light rail.

(Yechiel Spira – YWN Israel)


7 Comments

  1. ObservantJew says:

    I can just imagine rush-hour on Erev Pesach after Moshiach comes! Will the lambs have to wear diapers on the train?

  2. frumfromtoronto says:

    “Yediot reports that any plans for having the light rail enter the Old City were scrapped for fear of trampling “Muslim religious sensitivities”
    …If only the medina cared 1/3 about ‘Jewish religious sensitivities’ that it does ‘Muslim religious sensitivities’ things would be a lot better for frum yidden in Eretz Yisroel

  3. bklynmom says:

    for fear of trampling “Muslim religious sensitivities”—- Finally can the Jewish country be Jewish, think Jewish and act Jewish?

  4. simplystated says:

    “The engineer feels that bringing the train so close to the Old City and its ancient cemeteries will create a storm among the religions.” Digging through Har Zion!?! that’s where according to tradition King David is buried!!
    “…to avoid objections from representatives of the Jews, Christians and Muslims… for fear of trampling “Muslim religious sensitivities”?!?

  5. mark levin says:

    Rail to the kosel probably wouldn’t be too bad if they could pull it off.

  6. akuperma says:

    “The plan involves a 600-meter tunnel under Har Tzion.” — not if they plan to get it done in the foreseeable future — any digging in the Old City requires an archeological survey and will inevitably find something of value to slow down construction (not to mention human remains). Ancient walled cities and modern mass transit don’t mix very well. I suspect the whining about “religious sensitivities” is someone making an excuse so they don’t have to say “this is a dumb idea”.

  7. Avrohom Abba says:

    They better be very careful about all the vibrations that would certainly shake the Kosel and the surrounding archeological sites nearby. Both the construction of the light rail and constant daily tremblings of the light rail would endanger many weak and old areas.

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