Members of Parliament:
Main topics: public transport, private car in the city, streets for walking
We met with
Yossi Saidov, in our streets.
Yossi, 44, founded and was active in the "15 Minutes" organization. He founded the organization in order to deal with environmental problems that bother him in Jerusalem and the country in general.
About 300,000 cars enter Israel's roads every year. 12 thousand of them arrive in Jerusalem and need an average of two parking spaces - 24 thousand new parking spaces per year in total, which is not happening. This creates congestion on the roads with cars looking for parking and cars parking on the sidewalk and disturbing the pedestrians who are already having a hard time due to poles, trees and construction sites.
From the meeting
The organization '15 Minutes' was established 14 years ago, when Yossi discovered that behind the building where he lived, the Jerusalem Municipality intended to build a road. The said area was an open area of the old railway. Yossi recruited his neighbors and friends, they opposed the construction of the road and the Jerusalem municipality canceled the project after two years.
As a man who was not connected to the community around him, the fight for the open space united him and the entire community. The protest was successful and the area later became the track park. Due to the success, Yossi was inspired to continue developing the environmental problems that bothered him and thus the "15 Minutes" organization was born, which became a nationwide movement.
The name of the organization was given to him following the attempt to promote a bus line from the neighborhood where they lived to the entrance to the city and to the central station, they estimated that the journey would take 15 minutes. The line was indeed established after four years of lobbying by the municipality under the name line 15.
Today Yossi focuses on making public transportation more accessible, reducing the space occupied by private vehicles and preserving parks and urban nature in the city. Among other things, he focuses on parking private vehicles on the sidewalk and turning Hebron Road from a deadly freeway into a green lung - a street that is only open to public transportation and pedestrians only.
The climate crisis and transportation - the goal is to create more accessible and convenient public transportation that will encourage a break in driving private vehicles, which will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution. Another goal is to increase the number of parks and urban nature in the city and thus encourage pedestrians. As an example, you can see Jaffa Street, which is ranked as the second street in the country in terms of economic prosperity and all this thanks to the pedestrians who contribute to the city's economy. Streets open to public transport and pedestrians only encourages growth in the economy.
Dealing with the challenge
In the current situation, there is a load of vehicles on the roads, which leads to traffic jams and a lack of parking that these cars require. Due to the lack of parking, many cars park on the sidewalks intended for pedestrians, thus taking up the space for pedestrians and putting them at risk. Vehicles cause air pollution, in addition to wasting space and resources. On average, there are 1.1 people in a car compared to ~20 people who can fit into a bus that takes up only 3 times more space than one car. That means the efficiency of a bus in relation to one car is approximately 2000%.
The challenges they face are many - traffic jams, parking, sidewalks, the fact that cars enter at a rate that cars cannot cope with and neither can the municipality, the division of the area is not adapted to use and is not comfortable or safe for pedestrians and cyclists. There is a preference for a private vehicle as in the example that was shown that on Hebron Road the lane for public transportation is in the middle because private vehicles get an advantage in turning right.
Increasing the use of public transportation and reducing the use of private vehicles. Reducing the general load on the road. Investing in pedestrians, encouraging the use of non-motorized means of transportation, proximity between centers of use.
The audience is all road users. Achieving the goals through:
Education and change of attitude and perception
Fair distribution of the road space
Adding more infrastructure and means to public transportation, in order to increase use Instead of dealing with a lack of parking spaces and adding lanes for private vehicles, one should focus on solutions that promote public transportation and thus reduce traffic congestion (traffic jams) and reduce the emission of greenhouse gases.