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Transportation

Israel’s Divisive Plan for a Cable Car in Jerusalem

Architects, preservationists, and tour guides oppose the Israeli government’s scheme while Palestinian residents say they’ve been entirely marginalized in the process.
The scheme would ferry up to 3,000 people hourly. By connecting the cable cars to public transportation, Israeli authorities argue, the plan serves as an environmentally friendly alternative to the congested status quo.
The scheme would ferry up to 3,000 people hourly. By connecting the cable cars to public transportation, Israeli authorities argue, the plan serves as an environmentally friendly alternative to the congested status quo.Amir Cohen/Reuters

Jerusalem’s ancient Old City is known for its narrow and slippery old stone roads that lead to awe inspiring historic and religious sites. It’s also known for headache-inducing traffic as eager tourists and buses crowd the holy places for pictures and prayer.

Consequently, the Israeli government is pushing a plan forward that would reduce foot and bus traffic by building a cable car to transport tourists and pilgrims between some of the most congested areas starting in 2021. But it’s eliciting strong opposition from architects, preservation experts, and tour guides who oppose the scheme’s visual impact, and Palestinian residents who say they’ve been entirely marginalized in the process.