Mar 20, 2012

Highway 38 To Bet Shemesh To Be Upgraded

A few days ago it was announced that the plan to upgrade Highway 38 - from Shaar Ha'gay until Bet Shemesh - has finally received it's final approval in the various Knesset committees. The budget approved for it is 740 million NIS, and it is going to take a very long time to complete the project - about 10 years. The approval is only for the main section of the highway - until Bet Shemesh, but does not include the continuation further south past Bet Shemesh towards Ramat Bet Shemesh and beyond towards Kiryat Gat.

Mayor of Bet Shemesh Moshe Abutbol worked very hard for very long, pressuring the various committees to keep this on the agenda, along with involving various Members of Knesset until the approval was finalized.

Abutbol deserves a lot of credit for successfully getting Highway 38 upgraded. This highway is too small for the level of traffic it bears. While the coming 10 years will most likely be a disaster driving on the highway due to the coming road works, this was absolutely necessary and is a big accomplishment.

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16 comments:

  1. While this is, no doubt, an accomplishment, ten years is way too long - especially given the projected growth of Beit Shemesh during that time. At the rate they're going, it's quite likely that by the time they're finished with the planned upgrade, it will be necessary to upgrade once again!

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  2. probably. Its a big stretch of highway to work on, and cars have to drive on it at the same time..

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  3. It is disgraceful, to tell us we have to put up with another 10 years of the present situation. Some sort of temporary solution must be found. I notice also that in two places, private building projects have taken over half the road leading out of BIG. And the major jam is caused by that little bridge. So much could be done if one that bridge was expanded. Wait 10 years!!

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  4. I'll see if I still have any of the local papers that discussed it, and see if I am remembering something incorrectly or if there were more details that should be mentioned

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  5. B"H most of the estimated growth in Bet Shemesh over the next 10 years is Charedi, and Charedim tend to have fewer cars.

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  6. When I moved to RBS ten years ago, I was told about a new back road to Jerusalem that was going to be built. Whatever happened with that?

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  7. Let me get this straight - even though the road is JAMMED today at current population levels, and even though working ALREADY Jews waste a HUGE amount of time every day in traffic jams, and even though it will take 10 FULL YEARS for the road to be completed (through no fault of the haredi mayor), the plan is to NOT to wait before doubling the size of the city. The plan is to SIGNIFICANTLY INCREASE the population of the city (maybe even double it) in the interim BEFORE the road is complete. I understand how this is good for the non-Beit Shemesh haredi population (the mayor's TRUE constituency) to whom we apparently owe cheap housing, but how is the 'BUILT HOUSES FIRST, GET ROAD LATER' approach good for the current population of Beit Shemesh ??

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  8. Yet another reason not to live in BS/RBS. Last time I visited I sat in traffic on the 38 for one and a half hours.

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  9. I heard that route 38 will finally (in the next few years) be upgraded enough to accommodate Allenby's troops in their World War One march to Jerusalem! :)

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  10. Earn money from homeMarch 21, 2012 12:14 AM

    Rafi, thank the mayor for what? For pushing ahead with the expansion of Beit Shemesh when there is no infrastructure (i.e. roads to accommodate the traffic)? Do you ever ride on the 38 in the morning or late afternoon evening? Try it and then we'll see if you still want to "thank him". Bizarre.

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  11. Let's just say the 'need' to rapidly expand the city is a 'haredi-specific' need -- young haredi couples from outside of Beit Shemesh need an affordable place to live.
    The need to not sit in one extra hour of traffic every day on the way to work in TA or Jerusalem (most haredim go to kolel so this is less relevant to them) is not an 'anti-haredi need' but rather a mundane 'general population need.'
    ONCE AGAIN, haredi politicians will ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS favor 'haredi-specific' needs over those of the klal - very often to the deteriment of the klal.
    I cannot thing of ONE EXAMPLE in the HISTORY of israel where a haredi politician acted otherwise. If I am mistaken, please provide this example and correct me.

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  12. despite all this, and I have been among his critics for all those reasons mentioned, achieving the approval for this upgrade is a major accomplishment. This has been demanded for a very long time, MKs have promised it for a very long time, and Bet Shemesh (and towns in the area) have suffered for a very long time because nothing happened. That Abutbol finally achieved it is an accomplishment. Despite all the other issues. I criticize him plenty. I see nothing wrong with giving him some credit when it is due.

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  13. I agree with Rafi.

    We should criticize what there is to criticize, and try to be constructive in our criticism with an eye toward making the situation improve.

    But when something good is achieved, even if there are other detrimental things connected to that good thing, as some people have pointed out here, we should be willing to praise the positive accomplishment.

    Also, here, the detrimental things, though somehow connected to the traffic situation, are NOT caused by the positive accomplishment of gaining approval for beginning the work on widening route 38. The problems are more related to the fact that all of the governmental agencies involved SHOULD have approved this widening and begun the work for it in 2001, so that it would have been finished by now! That is what I hinted to in my satirical comment above.

    However, that is not Abutbol's fault. Whatever Abutbol's flaws (and I , too, do not minimize them), he did contribute something important toward the final approval of the widening of the road in his term; and I also congratulate him on that, and thank him for it!

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  14. I suppose I can agree with Rafi and Catriel, if you take into account , that Vaknin did not push or was not answered for expanding Route 38. But it is really crazy to go on expanding, when the road can't take it. The chareidim will also suffer. Who wants to sit in a bus in a jam on 38 for an hour, on the way from or to Jerusalem. By the way, a statistic, the population of Modiin was 74,300 in 2010, and Beit Shemesh was 80,600 in 2010, according to Wikipedia. Notice the difference in the access roads!!

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  15. Sorry, can't give him that much credit. His primary goal is to double the size of Bet Shemesh, mostly by providing cheap housing for Chareidim. Even he, in his all to finite wisdom, knows that the traffic situation is already untenable. Thus he had no choice but to fight tooth and nail to widen 38.

    I would be willing to give him, or any mayor, credit if he put a moratorium on all new building until the infrastructure is in place to handle it. And that, btw, includes a lot more than just widening 38. As it stands now, he continues to be the same charlatan he's been all along.

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  16. I agree with Menachem that Abutbol continues to be the same charlatan he has been all along; but I do think that it is to his credit that he pushed for getting the widening approved.

    The fact that he should ALSO have requested to speed up the widening so that the roads would be appropriate for the additional population which will come to Bet Shemesh before the widening is completed, and that he should have demanded that they IMMEDIATELY begin even more widening of the roads (and building of additional roads) before all of the new population arrives, because the present widening will ONLY bring the transportation situation to the level that it should have been at last year (or several years ago), is indeed a big liability on Abutbol's record!

    However, the liabilities do not detract from the positive accomplishment of getting this widening approved. And, even if he did it for ulterior motives, at least he did it in practice, and we can benefit from it.

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