Parents from the capital’s French School (Lycée Français de Jérusalem) convinced
Mayor Nir Barkat on Thursday to implement “traffic calming” measures on
downtown’s Rehov Hanevi’im, after six-year- old Farid Abu Ktesh was struck and
killed by a car on his way to school on October 7.
Some 150 parents and
pupils demonstrated in front of city hall on Thursday, demanding that the
municipality make the street safer for the five schools and two hospitals along
the narrow, crowded street. Since the construction of the light rail began, most
of the traffic from Jaffa Road has been diverted to Rehov Hanevi’im, making the
already congested thoroughfare even more dangerous.
Two weeks ago, a
three-car accident killed Abu Ktesh and seriously injured his father, sister and
two others. The school’s parents association claims that 200 people have been
injured in accidents on the road in recent years.
demonstration, French School parent Nicolas Pelham was able to enter the
municipal building to personally deliver a petition to Barkat, urging the city
to do something about the road.
They had turned to the municipality
several times before the accident, but since Abu Ktesh’s death, the plea has
taken on added urgency.
Pelham was able to catch Barkat in the hallway
and hand-deliver the letter. He then sat with the mayor for a brief meeting to
brainstorm ways to make the road safer.
The municipality pledged to start
work next week to do just that.
While specific plans are still unclear,
options discussed included improving the pavement, adding barriers on the
sidewalks, installing raised crosswalks, and adding speed bumps. Installing
speed bumps could be problematic because of the two hospitals located on the
“We’re very grateful the municipality is taking the matter
seriously, because it’s really unsafe for thousands of pedestrians,” Pelham