The Transportation Ministry announced on Sunday that its experiment of barring
heavy trucks from using the roads leading into the capital during morning rush
hour reduced travel times from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem by an average of 58
The pilot project, which has been in place since December, proved
such a success, said the ministry spokesman, that the restrictions would be made
Since trucks weighing more than 12 tons were banned from
Highway 1 between Sha’ar Hagai and the Shoresh Interchange between 6:30
a.m, travel times have been reduced substantially. The steep inclines
into Jerusalem cause heavy trucks to slow traffic considerably.
to Transportation Ministry figures, travel between Sha’ar Hagai and
Interchange, which took 8.5 minutes before the experiment, was reduced
and now takes 5.5 minutes. Similarly, travel time between the Harel
and the Arazim Tunnel was cut in half, from 7 minutes to 3.33.
times improved despite a 40% increase in the number of private vehicles
the route, which rose from 1,950 vehicles per hour to 3,700, the
Highway 443, which runs parallel to Highway 1 a bit farther north,
saw an increase in truck traffic due to the restrictions, but no
changes were registered to travel time, the ministry said.
said that following the success of the pilot project, the ministry would
consider taking similar steps in other locations. “The idea is to reduce
times and to reduce pollution in key points at the entrance to the city.
minister [Yisrael Katz] has instructed the ministry staff to look at
problem points and determine whether similar solutions can work,” he
Gabi Ben-Arush, chairman of the Israel Road Transport Board,
responded, “We don’t oppose the measure, but we do think it should be
along with a comprehensive reform. This solution is fine, we’ve found
work with it, but we would like to see reduced tolls for trucks using
during the morning, and night-parking zones outside of the cities.