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Daily Israel Report

Protesters: ‘Insufferable’ Traffic Jams are Killing Our Towns

Israelis living northeast of Jerusalem say ‘outrageous’ daily traffic jams have reached the point of causing physical danger.
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 10/8/2013, 9:03 PM

Traffic jam on Highway 60
Traffic jam on Highway 60
Hillel Meir

Traffic jams north of Jerusalem have become so bad that lives are at risk, locals have warned.

Residents of the community of Adam north of Jerusalem are planning a protest Wednesday over the government’s failure to fix the massive traffic jams that have been plaguing the area for years. Protesters will march from the entrance to Adam to a nearby junction, beginning at 4:45 pm.

“Life here has become unbearable," local council head Babar Vanunu told Arutz Sheva. “People leave work at 3:30 and get home at 6. A four-kilometer stretch of highway becomes one gigantic traffic jam.”

“We’re already at the point where it’s hard to evacuate the sick or women in labor to the hospital,” he warned.

Israelis living in Adam and other towns in the Binyamin region face an additional danger as well: the traffic jams make drivers sitting ducks for Arab gangs targeting Jewish travelers on the highway.

Vanunu noted that the traffic problem has severely impacted parents, who are often late to pick up their children from daycare.

The ultimate result is that Israeli communities north of Jerusalem are being strangled, he said. “More than 40 families have left,” he reported.

Six hundred families bought homes in Adam the belief that the government was going to build a bridge that would connect the town to Jerusalem, he said. Instead, he said, “they opened the checkpoints to the Palestinians, and left us to sit in traffic jams.”

“It’s an outrage,” he declared. Residents of the area have suggested ways of fixing the issue, he noted, but so far, to no avail.

Vanunu urged those affected by the daily traffic jams to join Wednesday’s protest. “I hear everyone complaining, and my message to them is, come protest tomorrow. The time has come to put an end to these traffic jams,” he said.

“I apologize in advance to those who will be stuck tomorrow because of the protest,” he added. “But it is really past bearing.”