Zoning Committee Approves 56-km Promenade Around Kinneret

A national zoning committee has approved construction of a 56-kilometer walkway along the banks of the Kinneret, Israel’s large fresh water lake and tourist attraction in the Galilee.

Scott Shiloh, | updated: 18:44

The idea of encompassing the lake with a comfortable path for pedestrians was originally proposed by the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel. Behind the proposal was a report by the State Comptroller severely criticizing the increasingly numerous illegal fences and roped off areas that block public access to the Kinneret’s shores.

Numerous unauthorized private groups have closed off many of the lake’s beaches, permitting access only to those willing to pay a fee. In many instances, the fee is collected in exchange for access to a parking lot near the beach.

An official from the nature society, Nir Papai, said the pedestrian pathway would “provide a solution for the absurd situation in which there is no single pedestrian walkway along the entire Kinneret shoreline.”

Young volunteers from around the country have already been hard at work clearing and marking 35 kilometers of the 56-kilometer route.

Papei said the biggest obstacle up till now has been coordinating among the myriad government agencies responsible for supervising the lake, which makes up Israel’s largest fresh water reservoir and is one of the country’s most popular tourist attractions.

The idea still has a number of hurdles to overcome before becoming an officially sanctioned project. A number of local zoning committees must still approve the proposal over the next 60 days. If they do, the national committee must give it final approval and then submit it to the cabinet for the approval of the government.

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