The Saga of Jaffa Road and the Light Rail

United States special envoy George Mitchell came and went,

Earth Day and an hour of “lights out” came and went,

a day of April showers came and went,

protesters in Silwan came and went,

and the 1400th day of captivity for Gilad Shalit came and went.

   But, the construction on the Jerusalem Light Rail Project goes on and on.

August 5, 2008

The King George Street and Jaffa Road area,

once a popular and busy part of the city was closed to traffic.

Jaffa Road      May 6, 2009

Walking around the constantly changing barriers

is a challenge for most people,

but this lone workman in a safety vest has no problem

walking up the middle of empty Jaffa Road.

 

September 22, 2009

 On Jaffa Road, after part of the tracks were finished,

November 11, 2009

they were covered over.

           

December 9, 2009

 

 

Not all tracks are covered over.

January 7, 2010

Nearby, on Herzl Boulevard,

they are blocked by cement barriers and used for parking, and a bus detour.

January 17, 2010

Workman on Jaffa Road

 February 17, 2010

 and no workman on Jaffa Road.

April 26, 2010

Construction continues.

There are some signs of progress,

but most signs inform people of changing traffic patterns.

The newest completion date is set for next April 2011.

Until then the light rail train and crowds of happy people

exist only on the building mural high above

 the intersection of Jaffa Road and King George Street.

To Celebrate…62

Yom Ha’atzmaut

Israel Independence Day

6 Iyar 5770                   April 20, 2010

For many families the transition from Yom Hazikaron

into the celebration of Yom Ha’atzmaut is difficult,

"picture Yom Hazikaron"

 going right after an intense day of mourning into party mode.

 But there were many and varied ways to celebrate this year,

62 years of the State of Israel.

Plenty of blue and white and flags,

   nighttime party options;

food and drink and music and fireworks…

 well into the night and morning hours.

For many families the day is begun

by watching the televised

International Bible Quiz

held at the Jerusalem Theater.

This year there was extra security,

as the Prime Minister’s son was the

finalist representing Jerusalem.

Provisions for extra security

were well under way the day before.

"picture President house Israel"

Located around the corner from the theater is Beit Hanasi, the President’s Residence

 where the annual Israel Prizes are awarded;

this could explain the blimp hovering over the area in the morning.

 The real Jerusalem streets were getting ready to celebrate,

parking spots on the sidewalk along Gan Sacher were filled quickly in the morning.

Not only was Gan Sacher full of people, but also

parks and nature strips all around the city and country, with people and mangals, BBQs,

the smell of grilled meat filled the air; a day for family and friend reunions.

Even the signs leading into Jerusalem were in holiday mode,

displaying holiday greetings and symbols, instead of the usual traffic congestion and accident warnings.

After dark Gan Sacher was still busy with people celebrating,

as the last remains of the charcoal turned to ash.

After all the celebrations,

people moved a little slow and looked a bit worn the next day.