Israel: Tel Aviv Reopens Restaurants and Bars and Turns Streets into Pedestrian Zones

As the Israeli government continues to lift restrictions put in place to contain the spread of the Coronavirus, the Tel Aviv-Yafo city council has announced that it will add 11 pedestrian zones to the city’ s main streets as part of an urban policy aimed at giving priority to pedestrians and cyclists and restricting access to cars.

Food shops, bars, cafes and other restaurants are expected to reopen next week according to guidelines set by the Ministry of Health, and the city council said the decision would allow them to place tables and chairs on the streets without worrying about traffic.

Eleven streets will be converted into pedestrian areas and will be landscaped with seating and street furniture, benefiting “the many residents and visitors who will walk in safe, accessible and welcoming urban spaces, making it easier to maintain social distance,” the city said.

The selected streets include Ishtori HaParhi Street which will connect to Basel Square, Daniyel Street near Carmelit and Ha’Arba’a Street. Nahalat Binyamin and Florentin, which already have pedestrian-only areas, will be expanded. Levinski Street, in the area between HaShuk and Herzl, will become a 24/7 pedestrian street.

This project is expected to take place next month.

“The creation of pedestrian streets in the city is part of a comprehensive policy that places pedestrians, personal transport vehicles and public transport at the center,” said Tel Aviv-Yafo Mayor Ron Huldai.

“Over the past year, we have converted Levinski Street into a pedestrian zone and blocked Sheinkin Street from automobile traffic on Fridays.”

Huldai said that as part of its urban policy, it had paved tens of kilometres of new bicycle paths, developed light rail lines, expanded public transport networks and improved shade conditions while renovating tens of kilometres of sidewalks.

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