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

Residents of the Binyamin region north of Jerusalem have been voicing concerns over the state of the highway leading to Jerusalem for months. Now many fear that the upcoming elections will push the issue to the sidelines, potentially endangering their lives.

The Binyamin Residents’ Council has appealed to Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz to deal with the problem now.

“For a number of years many residents, activists and elected representatives have been raising the issue of the serious safety problems on Highway 60 between Adam and Hizme,” they wrote. “This highway has taken a high toll in lives taken, in physical injury and financial loss.”

The number of accidents has only been increasing, they added. “This highway was and continues to be an extremely high-risk area.”

There are other safety issues as well, they continued. “The traffic jams at the entrance to Jerusalem, in addition to being unbearable and seriously affecting the quality of life of thousands of residents of the area, are a serious security risk,” they warned.

The writers noted a recent video showing Arab youth attacking commuters stuck in a traffic jam. Drivers were helpless in face of the attack. “We’re sure you can understand the feeling of being a target, and of how painful it is to a regular citizen,” they stated.

The letter ended with a vote of confidence for Katz. “We turned to the minister first because we know that the community of settlers is close to his heart, and that he has done much to strengthen Judea and Samaria… We are sure that his proven abilities mean he can release the bureaucratic ‘jam’ and advance productive solutions.”