The Politics of Parking
Via the Forward comes news of violent clashes in Jerusalem over contested ground — only this time it’s parking.
In the months of June and July, there have been mass protests, turning violent at times, against the decision of Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat to open parking facilities just outside the Old City on the Sabbath…
In early June, Barkat set out to tackle a strange situation concerning Jerusalem’s Old City, the jewel in the crown of Israel’s tourist sites. Because Sunday is part of their workweek, most Israelis make their visits Saturdays. But not only does public transport come to a standstill over the Sabbath, requiring people to drive their cars, but parking lots near the Old City also shut down to please Jerusalem’s Orthodox Jews.
“It was a pain. People parked and double-parked all over,” said Mark Feldman, CEO of Ziontours Jerusalem, a large travel agency.
The mayor responded by opening a new parking lot, outside the Old City, which hardly quieted those aggrieved.
Despite the continued protests, Barkat considers the issue closed. “The mayor found a real solution to a real problem and has now returned to tackling the economy and education,” his spokesman, Stephan Miller, told the Forward.
But experts believe that the conflict will continue. “It’s a question about who runs the city — it’s a power struggle in the city,” said Noam Shoval, a geographer at the Hebrew University.
Isn’t it always?
This entry was posted on Tuesday, July 28th, 2009 at 7:29 am and is filed under Parking, Traffic Culture, Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.