ayalon highway 88.
(photo credit: )
The Ayalon Highways Company is considering a surprising solution to rush hour traffic: allowing motorists to drive on the shoulder.
Any Israeli who uses the roads during rush hour has to deal with the nuisance of sitting in the same place for long stretches of time. Relatively narrow roads are the main problem, but Israelis also prefer to drive private cars rather than take public transportation, increasing the number of cars on the road. Add to that the frequent accidents and the rough weather conditions, and the entire road system is blocked with impatient, honking drivers.
To ease this situation, Ayalon Highways, which manages the Tel Aviv metropolitan area freeway, has been looking into letting drivers use the shoulders on several segments of the Ayalon roads during rush hour only. The company has not yet decided whether they would use the right or the left shoulders, but it has promised to maintain the security of the drivers who use the shoulders in emergency situations such as a breakdown or a flat tire.
"Due to the growing traffic within the metropolitan system, Ayalon Highways Company held several initial tests to examine the possibility of allowing the drivers to use the shoulders during rush hour traffic. [This would] increase the number of vehicles moving on the roads at the same time, without damaging the service level and the safety of the drivers during regular traffic hours," the company said on Sunday.
According to Ayalon Highways, a pilot program will soon be run on select areas of the roads. The test results will be passed on to the Public Security Ministry and Transportation Ministry.
The latter said in response that no such request had been received yet from the Ayalon Highways Company.
As originally reported in The Marker, the plan allowing drivers to use the shoulder has been implemented successfully in several European countries and is believed to be achievable in Israel, as well.
"I don't decide on the policies, but I see what happens, and I am anxious," Ayalon Highways CEO Shai Baras told The Marker. "The road as it is today is on the verge of collapse, and we have to promote a system for the management of requests immediately."
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