Nahariya is nice 311.
(photo credit: reuters)
Irecently toured several northern cities, and was impressed in particular with
Ma’alot and Nahariya. Ma’alot offers an astonishing combination of greenery,
friendliness and small-town feel. In Ma’alot drivers are mostly cautious and
careful, the city is tidy and the attitude calm and cool. Nahariya has pristine
beaches, immaculate streets and sidewalks and an abundance of cafes and pubs.
The stretch of boardwalk I saw in the early morning was quiet and essentially
free of trash. The few pieces of garbage were attended to by workers maintaining
its spotless shine.
What a crash landing it was when I returned home to
Jerusalem, only to realize something was sorely amiss. Compared to these cities
Jerusalem has become one large dump. My neighborhood of Katamon is riddled with
dog feces. I’ve got the biggest dog I have ever seen in Israel, but I dispose of
his refuse properly. This is Jerusalem, the beating heart of the Jewish people!
HERE IN Jerusalem, drivers are aggressive, traveling way too fast even with
schools, children and pedestrians in abundance. Speed bumps seem to encourage
citizens to drive faster in daytime and are not marked clearly enough to see at
night. Riding a bike is dangerous as bike lanes still do not exist in a majority
of Jerusalem neighborhoods.
Street-sweeping vehicles mostly push garbage
from one side of the street to the other and parks, streets and sidewalks are
constantly littered with refuse.
The city does not provide sufficient
trash containers (large green ones), and garbage cans, recycling bins and trash
receptacles are ridiculously placed in some locations. They serve mainly as
obstacles on sidewalks forcing pedestrians – including mothers with strollers –
onto streets with raging traffic.
Drivers continuously blare horns from
impatience and road rage rather than as a friendly warning of danger.
city needs to clean up its act, literally.
Citizens must stop to think of
the ramifications of just throwing their trash on the ground. Likewise, parents
must not let children carelessly discard cardboard mini-trays from pizza or bags
of potato chips or Bamba upon our streets. The city must initiate fines for
failure to pick up dog feces, for litter in parks after barbecues or Shabbat
meals and in general for garbage not properly disposed of. This applies also to
developers and contractors who obstruct sidewalks, pathways and streets, and for
excessive and needless use of the car horn.
Many sidewalks and streets
are poorly maintained and have slipped into disrepair.
desperately need repaving, there are not enough clearly marked crosswalks and
signs for pedestrians and cars. Streets, sidewalks and especially bus stations
require serious and immediate upgrades in the quantity and quality of lighting.
No one should have to stand in pitch blackness waiting for a bus! Our buses,
too, are filthy, with insufficient garbage disposal, insufficient ventilation
and little oversight or ramifications for graffiti and destruction of public
property. Without such measures the light rail will soon become just as filthy
with grime, garbage and graffiti.
Those who damage public property and
vandalize our cherished city must face stiff financial penalties, and the
culprits should know their actions will earn them police records. Shop owners
need to be held responsible for the space in front of their businesses and
ticketed for sweeping refuse – at any time of day or night – onto the
There is a need to educate the general public that living,
working and playing in our dear city, enjoying its amenities and greatness,
comes with responsibility.
A combination of education, fines and
additional workers and sanitation personnel may be appropriate.
who seem to drive way too fast around our city streets, should slow down and be
tasked with ensuring greater public safety, decorum and
Signs clearly warning of instructions for proper disposal of
refuse, proper public behavior and responsibilities as citizens and pet owners
and fines or penalties for offenses should be posted in Hebrew, Arabic and
Russian, at minimum, and even better, include French and English.
city of Petah Tikvah offers rewards and fines, via DNA testing, for proper
disposal of dog feces. An additional option for dog owners can be found here:
decades ago Naomi Shemer first sang a song titled Jerusalem of Gold
Jerusalem’s golden shine has lost its luster, become dulled and tarnished. It is
time we return it to Jerusalem’s glorious, sparkling splendor with immediate and
swift action: until we do so the city simply reflects the cleanliness of our
politicians.The writer is a high school English teacher, business
consultant and a resident of Jerusalem.