Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat and Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz announced a half a billion shekel, five-year improvement plan for roads in east Jerusalem on Wednesday, which will create 32 new roads and improve existing roads in Arab neighborhoods in the capital.
“This is a message to every resident of Jerusalem and every resident in east Jerusalem, that here we are strengthening Jerusalem in every way possible, both to get into Jerusalem as well as within Jerusalem for every sector of the population that lives here,” said Katz. “On top of all this, we need to strengthen Jerusalem as the united capital, and to show that we are concerned for every citizen.”
Barkat acknowledged that decades of neglect had created serious gaps between east and west Jerusalem’s infrastructure, but he said the 32 new streets are “part of a process.” The plan will budget approximately NIS 50 million per year for the next five years for new roads. Other parts of the plan will upgrade existing roads, including building sidewalks and improving accessibility around schools. Also, NIS 20 million will be dedicated to developing roads that provide an alternative to the clogged Highway 1, the main entrance and exit from Jerusalem.