The impact of car dependency on social equity.
Different sectors of society also differ in their ability to escape the destructive effects of increasing motorization. Affluent households with several cars available can escape cities degraded by traffic to garden suburbs, from which they can commute for work and shopping. Poor urban dwellers cannot escape, however, and they suffer even more from the increased traffic noise, congestion and pollution generated by the new commuters. Overall, car dependency offers relative freedom to the privileged at the expense of the mobility, freedom and quality of life of the majority.
CAR OWNERSHIP -- A DECEPTIVE MEASURE OF EQUITY
Even when car ownership rates grow dramatically, affluent groups continue to enjoy preferential access to cars and car-oriented services. Already in the early 1990s, over 50 percent of Israeli households owned at least one car; more than 67 percent of households of four and five members owned cars. (1) In 1996, 73 percent of Jewish households in Jerusalem, a relatively low-income city, had at least one car. (2) Still, car ownership remains closely linked to income, with most low-income families remaining carless, and average car ownership rates remaining lower in poor communities than in affluent ones. Moreover, the gap between car ownership in low-income and high-income communities has remained rather constant over the past two decades, even as overall car ownership rates rose dramatically. (3_4)
Figure 17: Car Ownership per 1,000 Population
Higher income groups not only own more cars, they also travel more by car -- and therefore benefit more from a car-oriented infrastructure, low gasoline taxes and parking fees. Conversely, higher taxes on automobile use can be considered a progressive form of taxation -- particularly if the tax monies are channeled into the public transport system. (5_6)
Car Use and Income
In Israel, business executives make twice as many interurban trips weekly as service workers and clerks/secretaries. Executives, professionals, academics and standing Army personnel all travel more than lower-paid secretaries, sales workers and service personnel.
Even the acquisition of a driver's license appears to be linked to socio-economic status. Development towns, Arab communities and communities with a high proportion of ultra-Orthodox Jewish residents like B'nai Brak have the lowest proportion of licensed drivers per capita in Israel, while the highest proportion of qualified drivers can be found in upper-income areas of the center of the country (Gush Dan). (8)
Trends in Car Ownership
In a car-oriented development scenario, even if car ownership overall increases dramatically, it will remain disproportionately higher among high-income groups.
An examination of car ownership projections developed by the Trans Israel Highway Company reveals that lower-income Israeli towns and rural regions still would own fewer cars, per capita, than households in higher income areas -- even if car ownership rates more than doubled. For example, in the northern Negev, there would be 345 cars per 1000 residents in the year 2020, while the projected rate in upper-income Ramat Ha Sharon and Herzliya is 656 cars/1000, or nearly double. (9)
In a car dependent society, shopping, housing and recreational sites become increasingly dispersed, and highway oriented business parks, shopping malls, and suburban housing projects become important travel destinations, which traditional public transport or pedestrian routes cannot serve well.
One car becomes insufficient for a household to perform its daily tasks, and two and three car families become more common, at least in upper income brackets. Middle and lower income families that own only one car, or no car at all, find their mobility increasingly limited -- and their access to work, social and cultural opportunities constrained as well.
Rising car ownership rates, therefore, generate new social inequities -- a car dependent society exacerbates the "mobility" gap between the car-rich and the car-poor.
The unequal distribution of cars between rich and poor persists even in the most car-oriented societies. In Great Britain, which has the highest rate of automobile ownership per capita in Europe, one-third of households do not have access to a car. (10) In the United States, which boasts the highest per capita car ownership rates in the world, between 11.5 and 15 percent of households do not even own a car and a full ONE-THIRD of the population are regarded as "transportation disadvantaged" because they do not drive or have regular access to a car -- those populations include 26 million elderly, 24 million disabled, and 25 million poor -- as well as many young people aged 7-17. (11)
It should also be stressed that car ownership is not the only way to provide car access to those who do need the flexibility of a car. Indeed, in countries like Holland or Switzerland, car-sharing schemes have become widespread and popular. In Switzerland, one car share scheme involves 20,000 subscribers with access to 1000 cars in 350 cities and towns across the country. (12)
THE IMPACT OF CAR DEPENDENCY ON SELECTED SOCIAL GROUPS
Historically, wealthier Israelis settled in moderately dense neighborhoods of apartments that often were located quite close to the central city, while new urban working class neighborhoods were located at less prime locations further from the center.
In the past decade, however, with the onset of suburbanization, the socio-economic balance of urban areas has shifted, and there has been an exodus of the middle class from the central city. The poor, new immigrants, foreign workers, the elderly and the ultra-Orthodox (in the case of Jerusalem) are increasingly left behind in the urban setting. (13) Trends in Jerusalem also reflect an outmigration of population from central city areas to neighborhoods on the fringes of the city -- or new suburbs in the Jerusalem district. (14)
Although Tel Aviv as a whole still retains a relatively strong socio-economic base, many stronger socio-economic households in older central city neighborhoods are gradually moving to newer locales on the periphery.
Policymakers and researchers generally link such outmigration to the price, size and condition of city housing -- failing to examine the extent to which quality of life factors, including traffic pollution and congestion, may also spur urban flight. For instance, in a survey of Jerusalem residents who left the city, housing was cited as the main reason for outmigration, but the decline in the quality of urban life was cited as a stronger motive than poor school quality or Arab-Jewish tensions. (15) The subjective perception of housing quality may be strongly influenced by neighborhood environmental factors. There are, for instance, central city neighborhoods where average apartment size is very large, but which still have suffered population stagnation or decline. Jerusalem's Rehavia quarter, where average apartment size is one of the largest in the city -- 81 meters -- suffered a net population loss in 1994, reflecting a stagnation in the "recycling" process of homes that should naturally occur. Not incident ally, Rehavia, once a quiet garden neighborhood, is today badly congested with traffic. (16)
It appears, then, that urban quality of life is not exclusively a function of housing size or quality -- but rather the result of a complex set of factors in the built environment.
Among those factors, car-oriented transport systems can become one of the most powerful triggers in urban decline -- generating excessive traffic, noise, congestion and pollution that render the "outside space" of city dwellers unsafe or unappealing. (17) Urban road construction, often designed to accommodate increased commuter traffic into the city to the benefit of suburbanites, means a loss of green "backyards" to cramped city dwellers. Air pollution generated by increased traffic in the city prompts a quantifiable decline in center city home values, as does noise. (18,19)
Excessive traffic is now emerging as one of the biggest environmental concerns of urban dwellers in Israel. In one recent survey of residents in industrialized Haifa, 56.6 percent named vehicles as the most problematic source of neighborhood pollution. In contrast, only 22.7 percent of those surveyed cited the oil refineries, which have been the focus of much public attention in recent years. In neighborhoods such as Bat Galim and Central Carmel, vehicles were ranked as the biggest source of pollution by over 80 percent of respondents. (20)
A 1990 study by the Haifa Area Association of Cities for the Environment found that noise problems -- mostly from transport -- bothered local residents more than air pollution or poor trash collection. (21) In Mercaz Hadar, a central city area of Haifa troubled by outmigration, 83 percent of residents noted that noise was the greatest environmental disturbance. Another Haifa-based study of 100 apartments for sale in the Carmel Ridge area found that similarly valued apartments sold for less when the apartment was exposed to heavy traffic or street noise. A 100-meter third floor apartment with no sea or mountain view would be valued at $178,000 if it was facing a quiet street, but at only $165,000 if it faced a noisy main street -- a difference of $13,000. (22)
Traffic noise also has health and psychological effects. Noise can contribute to, or aggravate, stress-related health problems including high blood pressure, minor psychiatric illness and sleep disturbance. (23) Recent studies also have uncovered associations between noise exposure and fetal development, and childhood cognitive development (near a local airport). (24) In Europe, where rail is a more prevalent transport mode, rail noise is generally perceived as less disturbing than road traffic noise, possibility because of the more steady quality of the noise disturbance. (25)
The Impact of Traffic Congestion on Neighborhood Social Fabric
Traffic patterns also have a decisive impact on social relationships within neighborhoods. When a neighborhood is pedestrian-oriented, streets and community shops and service centers provide an informal meeting ground for people who live near one another--helping to bind the diverse populations into a more cohesive social unit. (26) When road traffic increases, pedestrian traffic and social contacts diminish. (27)
As traffic congestion increases, and the subjective feelings about the neighborhood become more negative, changes in behavior occur. When traffic is heavier, people no longer linger on the pavement, they do not use front porches and gardens, and those who can afford to do so, move away to the suburbs. (28)
Commuters: Squandering of Urban Space for Roads and Parking
Those who flee to the suburbs return to the city in their private cars as commuters. Commuter traffic requires new or expanded urban highways, bypass roads, and city parking facilities -- which policymakers usually justify as traffic improvements for the city itself. In fact, however, the benefits of such infrastructure are enjoyed almost exclusively, and at almost no cost, by the suburbanites traveling to and from the city daily, rather than by the urban residents, whose tax monies finance many of the road improvements, and then who suffer the resulting congestion. As the British Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution notes:
"Space which was an important possession of local people has been taken from them over the years and made the preserve of people in cars who happen to be passing through. Children no longer play on the pavement or make unaccompanied journeys along the street to school. A reduction in the numbers of people walking through the streets creates the conditions for an increase in the crime rate." (29)
Thus, increased car traffic feeds a spiral of diminished pedestrian activity, urban flight, and more commuting. Attempts to accommodate increased congestion via expansion of the road and parking network spurs even more urban flight.
Urban Flight and Social Fragmentation
Urban flight, in and of itself, feeds the social schisms already present in Israeli society -- between rich and poor, immigrant and native-born, and ultra-Orthodox and secular Israelis. Those gaps widen as groups become increasingly segregated geographically between the "haves" on the periphery of towns and villages and the "have-nots" in the central city.
Over four million Israelis, or 73 percent of the population, live in or near urban areas -- and yet in 1995 alone, 10,000 people left the city for rural locales. Rural communities and towns of less than 20,000 in population are growing at rates of 4 percent to 15 percent annually, while most cities of over 100,000 are growing by a rate of I to 2 percent -- with the exception of Beersheva and Rishon Le Tziyyon. (30) Many planners have warned that massive suburbanization is not only undesirable, given Israel's land scarcity, but also undesirable socially. (31) Still, only when sustainable transport systems such as rail, "clean" gas or electric buses (pedestrian and cycle routes) are widely available in cities to minimize traffic noise, air pollution and congestion impacts, will the quality of urban living be able to compete with suburban living -- both for those who have the means to make the choice, and for those who do not. Generally, however, urban road plans progress far more quickly than rail systems, whic h require greater political will and foresight to develop.
Public Transport Patrons
Israelis as a whole still use public transport as much or more than their European counterparts. Nationally, some 36 percent of total travel is via bus, although the figure drops to 25 percent in the Tel Aviv area. (32) Yet as bus travel becomes less and less popular, public transport riders have become disproportionately poor, elderly, urban, ultra-Orthodox, female, and young. (33)
Nationally, car owners rarely travel by public transport. Among holders of drivers' licenses, only 19 percent of men and 25 percent of women nationally travel to work via bus, and only 10 percent travel by bus on interurban trips. In one-third to one-half of those instances, the only reason for using public transport is that the car is not available. (34)
The cost in real terms of riding public transport rose by 98 percent between 1980 and 1996, while the cost of driving and maintaining a car declined by 27 percent. (35_36_37)
Bus Patrons - Paying More and Getting Less
In Israel, public transport patrons are disadvantaged in other ways as well.
* Public transport patrons, particularly in urban areas, share in the economic burden of urban freeway development, from which they do not benefit. They also pay the health and social costs of congestion, noise and pollution that they did not create.
* Public transport patrons shoulder the burden of contraction in service routes and declines in service frequency when other bus patrons abandon the system and opt for automobiles. Between 1985 and 1995, the population increased by 31 percent but the number of kilometers traveled annually by public buses increased by only 5.3 percent--reflecting the overall shrinkage of the system. (38)
* In times of security tensions, it is the public transport riders who have been prime bombing victims.
* Public transport riders who are employed do not get the cash benefits of car allowances enjoyed by their colleagues, nor can they "cash out" parking subsidies given to car owners. Some 20 percent of Israeli households with cars receive employee car allowances. Another 10 percent have company cars. (39)
As a result, the relative cost of travel from any one point to another is generally higher for public transport riders than for automobile drivers. The gap between the mobility "haves" and "have-nots" increases as communities become more automobile dependent, destinations become more dispersed, and the public transport contracts further -- in both service span and quality.
In many countries, taxes on automobiles are directed into the public transport, pedestrian and cycle systems to compensate for the extra cost and the negative impact car users have on public transport patrons. In Israel, there is no direct relationship between automobile taxes and transport expenditures, let alone automobile fares and public transport support.
Automobile drivers, who consume more road "resources" in sheer space and generate more pollution per passenger kilometer than buses or trains, in effect gain a larger subsidy from government subsidized road-building than bus or train riders. Yet policy debates tend to focus on ways to reduce subsidies to public transport, rather than to eliminate the hidden subsidies road-users enjoy. (40) The reluctance to invest in rail, which is often faster, more convenient and more comfortable than bus services, reflects the low priority of public transport.
Much of the problem lies in the perception of public transport investment as a "welfare measure." Instead, public transport should be perceived as an investment benefiting the broad public. (41)
The "Car Allowance" - Subsidizing Car Owners
One of the most common subsidies car owners receive is the employee car allowance. In Europe, employee car allowances are gradually being eliminated in favor of a more equitable "travel" allowance system that allows employees the freedom to choose their own mode of travel without being financially penalized, or in favor of direct employer purchases of tickets for public transport. (42)
In Israel, the Histadrut has considered, but not moved on a proposal to translate car allowances into travel allowances. Employees who want to purchase and use an alternative form of transport lose both the value of a car allowance and parking subsidies. The economic distortions created by the present system are illustrated by the case of an Environment Ministry official, Dr. Stillian Gilberg, who in 1995 forfeited his rights to free car parking space, valued at NIS 350 a month, but requested that the Ministry purchase a bicycle instead (a one-time purchase of NIS 1,000) for use in commuting to and from the office. His proposal was approved by the Ministry's comptroller--but only on condition that Gilberg also forfeit his free monthly bus pass. (43) Gilberg, who uses the bus to get to work when it rains, refused.
Women: The Second Sex in the Transport System
At first glance, it might seem that increasing motorization can improve the mobility of women who otherwise might remain dependent on men for transport. And indeed, in the case of more affluent women living in households that can afford to purchase a second family vehicle, this often seems to be the case. However, as society becomes car dependent, the lifestyle changes that occur ultimately are detrimental to most women, particularly those living in households with only one family car. Even affluent women eventually discover that the more car dependent they are, the more time they must spend traveling to work and shopping destinations, as well as transporting children and/or elderly relatives -- who can no longer rely on pedestrian or public transport modes.
The special transport needs of women are defined in large part by the multiple roles they play -- combining paid employment with the unpaid domestic work and cbildcare, care of elderly relatives, and possibly study. As a result, sustainable land use and transport systems in which home, work and shopping destinations are located in close proximity to one another make the juggling of various tasks easier for women. (44) Similarly, transport systems permitting children maximal independent movement on public transit, foot and bicycle release women from time-consuming duties of "escorting" children everywhere. (45 46)
Major highway projects are usually based on cost/benefit analyses in which the value of time saved on car travel, especially travel to work, is weighted heavily. Yet highway development, which also encourages suburbanization and fragmentation of commercial and residential functions and degrades public transport, leads to a loss, rather than a saving, of women's time.
Combining Work, Family and Transport
Some 959,200 Israeli women were employed in the work force in 1996 -- 45.6 percent of the female population over the age of 15. In the Jewish sector, an average of 70 percent of women with children under the age of 14 are employed outside of the home. (47) In the Arab sector, nearly one-quarter of women between the ages of 18 and 34 work outside of the home. (48)
Women in Israel earn, on average, 52 percent of men's salaries. (49) About 38 percent of women workers are employed part-time. (50) And among women who work part-time, 13 percent cite their studies as the reason for working part rather than full time, while 21 percent cite their role as homemakers. (51)
As lower income earners, women have less access to cars overall and are more dependent on public transport than men. In 1992, 65 percent of Israeli men held drivers' licenses, compared to 35 percent of women. (52) Even among license holders, 37 percent of women go to work by bus, foot or other means, as compared to 29 percent of men, reflecting in part the fact that men have priority use of the car in one-car households. (53)
Employee car allowances also are a predominantly "male-only" perk. A 1995 survey by the Israel Women's Network found that 95 percent of male civil servants receive car allowances, averaging 300 shekels a month. Only 53 percent of women receive a car allowance, averaging 225 shekels a month. The report notes: "There is a positive connection between the job rank and the level of mobility in a service vehicle. Because they occupy mainly the lower and middle levels, women do not receive those benefits." (54)
Special Travel Patterns of Women
Women make more short journeys than men; thus good short-distance transport and local access is key for them. In metropolitan Tel Aviv, women make 0.71 trips daily in their community of residence, compared with 0.52 trips for men. (55) Conversely, men make more interurban trips than women: 1.92 trips daily as compared to 1.19 trips for women drivers. (56)
Since women work far more than men in part-time jobs, more of their travel is outside of "peak" travel times, and they are differentially disadvantaged by transport services that are less frequent during these off-peak hours. The availability of job opportunities close to home may determine whether or not a woman is able to work outside of her home, particularly in a part-time job where commuting time must be kept to a minimum.
Conversely, a woman may be freer to opt for employment opportunities for more hours in the afternoon, and further from home, if she knows that her children can get home and around the neighborhood independently. (57)
Because of a woman's social role, a significant portion of her travel is made in the company of children, making even the most basic movements in congested urban areas complex and dangerous. (58) A transport system that facilitates the independent movement of children and the elderly via pedestrian and public transport modes, and permits independent child's play on streets and sidewalks, lessens the burden of social support that women must assume as escorts and travel companions. (59)
Low-floor trains and tilting buses are more convenient for women accompanying children than present-day buses, which are difficult to alight. The encroachment of parked cars on sidewalks, and the overall deterioration of pedestrian networks has a particularly severe effect on women escorting children.
The quality of the pedestrian environment is also particularly important to women traveling alone, since their lower social status and smaller size makes them more vulnerable to harassment and attack. Problems affecting women's sense of safety in the street include: poor lighting; blocked sidewalks; untrimmed vegetation blocking sidewalks, and holes and breaks in the sidewalk. (60)
Women and Car Dependency
Ironically, while "time savings," especially in work commutes, is such a critical factor in justifying the construction of roads, over the long term, automobile-dependency may create new time costs and inefficiencies in a woman's daily schedule that may not be calculated by transport economists.
As low-density suburbanization disperses homes, workplaces, schools, and shops further and further, women's mobility is adversely affected. A second family car may temporarily solve individual problems, but it exacerbates the long-term dilemma of society. The suburb that can accommodate a two-car lifestyle often lacks pedestrian and public transport access to services, stores, schools and cultural centers. Rather than liberating women, an automobile society leaves children more dependent on car transport for even short trips, forcing women to become "chauffeurs."
An "urban village" style residential environment featuring relatively high densities, mixed land use, public transportation and a variety of services is thus a more "user friendly" environment for women in general and for working women in particular. (61) Such a "mixed use" community--be it city, small town, or kibbutz--can allow women to move easily between home and a wide range of local job and shopping opportunities. It also allows young children to move independently between school and after-school activities.
Children and Teenagers
Cars, we are sometimes told in advertisements, spell freedom to move when and where we want. This "we" is very age-specific; the automobilization of society has eroded the freedom of children. While policy makers have supported the rights of older teenagers to obtain drivers' licenses and access to cars, few Israeli transport researchers have bothered to ask what impact massive motorization and car-oriented urban development is having on the 1.9 million Israelis who are children and teens of pre-driving age -- a sector that constitutes more than one-third of Israel's population -- most under the age of 14. (62) About half of the households in Israel include children and teens under the age of 17 -- in the Arab sector the figure is 73.6 percent. (63)
The evidence suggests that our younger citizens are increasingly constrained in their freedom of movement on foot and on bicycle -- increasingly unable to cross roads, play outdoors, get to school and back, and visit friends on their own. And with growing bodies, those who live at exhaust-pipe level are most at risk from automobile pollution.
In general, child mobility has very low priority for transport planners in Israel. But in other western countries, it has been demonstrated that rising motorization has paralleled a decline in the independent mobility of children. In England, 80 percent of seven and eight year-old children were allowed to go to school without adult supervision in 1971. By 1990, only 9 percent were allowed to do so. While 80 percent of children walked to school in 1971, only about 60 percent did so in 1990, and the proportion of those driven to school jumped from 10 percent to over 35 percent. In 1971, about 65 percent of children aged eight were allowed to cross the road by themselves; by 1990 that number had dropped to 25 percent. (64) While the number of child pedestrian casualties also dropped sharply, roads were "safer" because they had been cleared of children.
Child Health and Child Mobility
Such findings are particularly worrisome, since there is a strong correlation between overall health and walking habits -- a link that begins early in life. Incidence of childhood asthma may be higher when children play less outdoors. (65) Since children are physically closer to the ground, they also inhale relatively higher concentrations of pollution from passing traffic. At the curbsides of major roads, concentrations are two or three times the urban background level, notes The British Royal Commission on Transport and Environment. (66)
High rates of pollution translate into reduced child lung capacity and higher rates of respiratory infections and asthma. (67) School children exercising or bicycling in areas of unusually heavy or congested traffic are at greater risk for CO poisoning than office workers or drivers. (68)
Fast-speeding cars and difficult-to-cross intersections pose a particular threat for young children since they cannot accurately estimate the time needed to cross a street. As roads are widened, cars move faster, raising the likelihood that a hit will be fatal. (69)
Streets as Play Space
Creating "safe" space for children to move about in their neighborhoods is important to mental development as well as physical health. The undirected exploration of space in play is a crucial element in developing physical, intellectual and motor skills. (70) For children over the age of five, a static playground site does not represent a desirable play site. Instead, older children seek out activities on the sidewalk and the street -- and routes for riding bicycles, roller skating, moving back and forth to the homes of friends, and observing the comings and goings at neighborhood stores or residences. (71)
In Israel, community transport planning often fails to reflect this need of children. In particular, the gradual reduction in urban sidewalk space--largely due to encroachment by illegally parked cars--leaves children less and less "safe" play space outside of their homes. Children have no alternative but to move directly into the streets, where there is a higher risk of injury and death.
Even when sidewalks are maintained, they are not always appropriate for cycling. (72) The absence of urban pedestrian and bicycle space for children is especially unfortunate given the fact that biking and roller skating are popular and cheap play activities for children in families of all income levels. An estimated 120,000 children's bicycles (for ages 14 and under) are sold every year in Israel. If the lifespan of each bicycle is just six years, then an estimated 720,000 Israeli youngsters -- or 40 percent of all children under 14 -- own bicyctes, while many of the estimated 50,000 mountain bikes sold annually are purchased and used by teens aged l3-l8. (73)
Public Transport and Children
Few policy makers have examined the role school bus transport plays in child mobility -- or in time savings for parents. When free school buses are available, they reduce the need for parents to make trips to multiple destinations as part of their daily commuting schedule. That, in turn, makes public transit more feasible for the adults. But school buses in many parts of Israel are an add-on extra that parents pay for privately -- the result being that many parents try to "economize' by chauffeuring their children to school -- generating more traffic and macro-economic inefficiencies.
Children and teens also suffer socially when local public transit systems decline. For instance, when very high quality public transport is available, teens may feel less pressure to begin driving at an early age -- and policymakers may feel less pressure to lower the driving age. Teens begin driving earlier in car dependent United States than in Europe. And in the United States, teenagers in remote rural regions and suburbs often begin learning to drive even earlier than those in major cities boasting a high quality transit network. Moreover, in Israel, the investment in a car by an older teenager seeking status may mean forgoing other important experiences, such as study, travel abroad or savings for an apartment purchase.
Children also may be dependent on good interurban transport systems in order to experience the world outside of their local community. For instance, about 26 percent of Israeli families contain more than five members -- and such households therefore cannot fit into one standard-sized car for out-of-town leisure trips. (74)
Land Use and Children
Neither super high rise housing nor dispersed single family suburbs create optimal space for children. In high rise buildings, merely to go outdoors, children must move further away from home, down many flights of stairs, and past many strangers --travel which is more likely to require adult supervision. Legally, children under 14 are not allowed to take elevators unaccompanied by an adult. (75) Single-family housing also may be isolating to young children, who may have access to a private yard -- but lack the common yards or play spaces often available in small and medium size apartment blocs. Educational, cultural and commercial activities may not be within walking, biking or bus reach in a typical single-family dwelling.
Medium density housing in a mixed use setting-- be it semi-rural or urban -- offers children the greatest range in mobility and sources of stimulation. Friends are relatively near at hand, and even young children can travel independently down the stairs to the outside world, explore the building yard, or go to neighborhood stores. Older children can travel independently to schools, sports and cultural centers and stores. In a more rural setting, a traditional mixed-use kibbutz, moshav or town also offers a wider range of sites and stimulation than a suburb-- be that farm animals and fields or small town business enterprises, parks and cultural centers.
Senior Citizens and Disabled Persons
Relative to western European countries, Israel today is a relatively "young" society, where the elderly make up 9.5 percent of the population -- as compared to 13-16 percent in most of western Europe. (76) Often the highest concentrations of elderly residents may be found in older central city neighborhoods where traffic congestion, pollution and noise may be particularly great. (77)
While children need a transport system that allows them a constantly expanding range of independent movement involving new physical and cognitive challenges, older Israelis find their physical and cognitive powers diminishing and their range of daily mobility shrinking gradually. Therefore, a transport system that eases mobility in neighborhoods and communities helps an elderly person preserve a maximum degree of independence. (78)
Good pedestrian facilities, public transport and mixed use communities that offer a variety of services and activities in close proximity of home are ideal. A good pedestrian network, interspersed with parks and benches, offers the elderly both "vantage points from which to observe and feel part of the fabric of urban life," as well as places to rest along the way which are not too close to noise and pollution, observes Churchman. (79)
In mixed-use, pedestrian-oriented neighborhoods, elderly people can perform basic shopping routines independently. (80) As noted previously, the exercise involved in daily walking is also essential for elderly health -- particularly the maintenance of bone densities that help avoid osteoporosis. Neighborhoods in which contact with people can be made informally on the street reinforces social supports, which also bolster good health. (81) This intuitively apparent link--between social networks and physical well-being-has been supported by a wide range of empirical studies. These demonstrate clear links between social support and decreased mortality and enhanced health. (82)
Outside of the neighborhood, readily-available door-to-door motorized transport (through dial-a-ride schemes, private cars or taxis) is certainly justified at times. But in general, the elderly are far more dependent on public transportation than the general population. In 1995, Israelis over the age of 65 constituted 9.5 percent of the population, but they made up only five percent of drivers' license holders. (83) This relatively greater dependency will remain even as the proportion of elderly with drivers' licenses grows, since there are many elderly drivers who cannot or do not feel comfortable driving, particularly in heavy traffic.
Obstruction of access by fast-moving traffic is particularly stressful for older and disabled persons. Healthwise, the elderly also are at a high risk when exposed to high levels of air pollution generated by excess traffic. The increased rates of premature mortality that occur in cities with high rates of particulate pollution is due mostly to deaths among the elderly. (84) Increased levels of CO can bring on heart attacks, and fatalities. (85) Among smokers and those in poor health, the extra CO that can trigger a heart attack or even death is relatively small. (86)
For many elderly, driving can be a symbol of independence in old age, yet it also can raise fears and anxiety, as the ability to respond very quickly is diminished. The more car-dependent a society is, the more psychologically and socially difficult it will be for an elderly person to stop driving even when physical limitations dictate the same. Conversely, where pedestrian space is preserved, and public transportation is regarded as a high status form of travel, the loss of driving privileges may be less of a burden. As with women and children, urban light rail, with state of the art "low-floor" platforms, or "tilting" buses can offer special advantages to elderly and disabled persons.
Approximately 600,000 Israelis -- about 10 percent of the population, suffer from some kind of physical disability. (87) Many of the factors that facilitate ease of movement for children and senior citizens also improve the mobility of the disabled. A disabled person who can move about his or her neighborhood freely on a wheelchair will enjoy far more independence than someone who must use a car even for simple errands. On February 23, 1998, the Law for Equal Rights for Handicapped Persons was passed in the Knesset, which should, in principle, guarantee equal rights of access for people with physical disabilities.
While Israel's road system and motorization rates approximate those of European countries, the transport system in the Arab sector more closely resembles a third-world model such that found in Central or South America. Per capita, car ownership among Arab citizens is only about 70 percent of the Israeli national average--although over the past two decades it has been growing faster in Arab settlements than in the country as a whole. (88) The public transport system to and from Arab towns and villages is far less developed than that elsewhere in Israel. Roads to Arab communities and within villages, towns and cities are often in poor condition -- reflecting the social marginalization of Arab localities. (89)
In terms of land use, older Arab towns and cities, such as Umm El Fahm, the largest Arab center in the Triangle, or Nazareth in the Galilee, generally developed first around pedestrian-oriented residential quarters and markets. Thus while the Arab sector may be underdeveloped relative to Israel, it faces similar policy dilemmas; should traditional town centers be degraded and destroyed in order to widen and improve new roads to accommodate the automobile and to thus "catch up" with Israeli motorization rates? Or can a more sustainable transportation model be developed that would be less reliant on the automobile and more compatible with traditional village and town design.
After 1948, Arab villages in the area known as the Triangle region were cut off from the larger Arab towns of the Jordanian-controlled West Bank (Jenin, Tul Karem, Kalkilya, and Nablus). Safed, Tiberias and Beit Shean were emptied of Arab occupants, and Akko, Haifa, Yaffo and Lod were left with diminished Arab populations. With few urban centers as magnets for travel, mobility was low -- except among male workers who traveled outside of villages and towns for employment. Military government, in effect until 1966, reduced mobility considerably, as permits were required for travel.
In the 1990s, most Arab towns lack industrial areas and a significant employment base of their own, and the result is significant commuter traffic from the village every morning to Jewish towns or regional industrial parks located in Jewish areas.
The need to commute to work is most acute in the Bedouin townships of the Negev; many still lack even basic cottage-style industries like metal-works or car garages typically found in Arab towns in the Galilee and the Triangle. (90)
Since the average size of an Arab household is large -- 57 percent of Arab households contain five or more persons, and 25 percent of households contain seven or more members, one car must accommodate the demands of many members. (91)
Usually, women, the elderly and children remain behind when the male members go out to work in the morning. As noted in the section on women and transport, only about one-quarter of women aged 18-34 work in the Arab sector. The percentage of Arab women who continue their studies after age 18 is also lower than that in the Jewish sector. (92)
The long commute to most jobs, combined with the taboos against out-of-town female employment, mean that women may remain socially isolated in the village while male members are exposed to more of mainstream Israeli society and learn better Hebrew. This differential mobility may also create social strains. Meanwhile, access to a car or the ability to drive may indeed represent a form of liberation for rural Arab women. (93)
Land Use Patterns
Outside of the traditional town or village core, low density single family housing has become the dominant building mode -- in sharp contrast to the apartment blocks that rose up in Jewish towns. This style of building resulted in part from rising affluence and in part from the absence of strong local planning bodies in the Arab sector -- where most village land is privately owned, and key "macro" planning decisions are made by "outside" Jewish authorities -- who have failed to provide answers to the development needs of Arab communities. It also reflects the "village" lifestyle still prevalent where large extended families might live in a single compound, alongside their orchards or gardens. Finally, such building also serves a political goal -- to re-assert a claim to agricultural land that was constantly under the threat of expropriation from Israeli authorities.
Overtime, such building patterns also heighten problems of land scarcity in a society where land is rarely sold outside of families, and in which the birth rate is very high. Political conflicts with Jewish authorities over illegal building on the fringes of cities are exacerbated. Finally, the low-density building also encourages a trend toward automobile dependency as the villages grow larger; per capita car ownership more than tripled from 1970 to l990. (94)
Typically a single large road connects the village with the outside world, sometimes passing by the edge of a hilltop community like Umm El Fahm, at other times bisecting it through the middle, as in the case of Baka Al Gharbiya. Smaller windy streets feed into the village or town center, with little hierarchical ordering of size. The roads are often not of standard dimensions, construction, or signage, having begun as pedestrian and animal passages. The low-density building on the perimeter of towns and villages makes the supply of infrastructure and services, including roads and public transportation, less efficient. (95) In congested core areas, the pedestrian injury rate, especially of children, is very high, because cars and pedestrians share the same crowded space. (96)
Public transport is often limited to buses leaving the village in the early morning and returning after the workday. These buses are routed primarily to main roads and Jewish towns, and there are few radial connections between Arab villages. When a single bus line serves a series of Arab villages along a main road, making a circuit through each, travel can be arduously slow. The bus companies have often relegated the worst buses of their fleet to serve these villages, and these are often overcrowded. Partly because of the poor bus services, many Arab towns are characterized by a high availability of "sherut" taxi services that transport workers to and from work.
Traditionally, the Arab sector ranked very low in national priorities, and the difficulty of local tax collection, combined with the disparity in the government funds available to Jewish and Arab communities, made for constant budget deficits and little investment in transport. This picture changed significantly in 1992. Budgets for roads, for example, ballooned from MS 870, 000 in 1990-1 to NIS 27.5 million in 1993 and 33 million in 1994. (97) With the increase in budgets, planners sought to relieve the growing transportation stresses in Arab villages through greater investments in the road system) constructing a hierarchical system of straight wide roads according to national standards, multiple road entries into villages, and ring roads around them. "The solution for the transportation problems in these settlements," claims one of the few overviews of the topic, "demands correct planning similar to that done for Israel's large cities." (98)
Such tactics may be technically feasible in areas where the bulk of the development has been recent -- and therefore of low enough density to incorporate a bigger road system. But investment exclusively in roads and car-oriented planning will also spur more sprawl, exacerbate land tensions within Arab communities, and intensify land disputes between Arab communities and Jewish neighbors. (99)
A more innovative approach is apparent in the recent planning of the Nazareth 2000 project, developed by a team of national and local planners to spur tourism in the historic city. The following discussion is devoted to the Nazareth 2000 plan, as an illustration of how sustainable transport principles can be harnessed to create economic and social benefits in the Arab sector -- while also reducing Jewish-Arab political conflict. (100)
The Nazareth 2000 plan represents an attempt to transform a road development "lag" into an advantage. Old City pedestrian and market areas, which are incompatible with road-oriented development, are being re-pedestrianized in order to attract business from among the thousands of pilgrims and tourists who visit the city annually. The Nazareth 2000 plan is expected to add about 3,250 jobs to the Israeli economy over the short term and about 8,000 jobs in the long term, primarily by spurring longer tourist stays in the city.
During the 1970s and 1980s, attempts were made to introduce automobile traffic into parts of former pedestrian alleys that wind through the traditional market -- something that was viewed as a symbol of economic development. Belatedly, policymakers recognized the real results -- traffic congestion, the physical degradation of homes and stores abutting directly onto the road, the loss of pedestrian mobility -- and of tourism and economic value to the neighborhood. (101)
On the edge of the old city area, Nazareth's main street, Paulus VI, became the site of chronic traffic jams. Attempts to widen the road to three and even four lanes failed to keep up with the pace of increasing congestion. As a result of the traffic obstacles and the degraded town center, pilgrims to Nazareth tended to limit their stay in the town to just a brief stop at the town's main religious sites -- while dining and sleeping in resort centers like Tiberias.
Presently, Nazareth's Old City and market area are marked by a very high rate of poverty -- more than 80 percent of families live below the poverty line as compared to 35.4 percent in Nazareth as a whole. (102) The elegant mansions which were built by Nazareth's wealthy Christian bourgeoisie a century ago, and still give the area charm, have fallen into disrepair as affluent Nazarenes fled to the periphery. Most of the Old City's residents are new arrivals from outlying villages in the Galilee. There are no children's playgrounds or community centers -- and as a result the only available play space is in the streets and alleys (103).
The Nazareth 2000 plan has sought to reverse many of these trends -- and create attractions that would prolong the stay of the average tourist in the city. Paulus VI Street is being narrowed into a three-lane road of which two lanes will be bus-only corridors. The road space thus saved will be used for broader sidewalks, bus alighting zones, and trees. The pedestrian networks which descend from the hills on the city's northern edge into Old City are being renovated and expanded to create a network of promenades around the entire city, linking lookout points and parks on the periphery with the religious sites and market area.
Store fronts and homes are to be renovated both in the marketplace and the central business district, and attention is being paid to street furniture that attracts pedestrians -- including stores with attractive windows and store fronts, trees, signs and benches, and mid-rise buildings that blend in with the traditional skyline.
The plan also underlines the need to prevent the development of sprawl on the edges of the city -- which would degrade the visual contours of the town, set amidst green space and open agricultural fields. (104)
While the Nazareth 2000 plan is designed primarily to generate economic benefits from increased tourism, the same transport and land use principles that draw tourists also create social, environmental and health boons for local residents who will benefit from the easier access within the city, and a more pedestrian-friendly design.
Still, in its design as a tool for attracting tourists, the plan reflects a lack of attention to the transport needs of the local population. Road improvements are designed to facilitate tourist bus traffic and tourist pedestrian flow, rather than promote a more fundamental shift among city residents from private to public modes.
Pedestrian connections between tourist destinations are treated in great detail, but there is no such attempt to create pedestrian connections for the local population -- to and from schools, for instance. Improving the local public bus system is absent in a consideration of the transport systems. Without any attention to the creation of a high quality bus and mini bus system that could provide good local access to the center city, it would be difficult to restrain the growth of urban sprawl on the city's periphery. It also will be difficult to retain a broad mix of local services and businesses in center city locations -- or to accommodate traffic growth via the creation of new car parking lots or traffic rerouting, as the Nazareth 2000 strategy envisions.
Regional planning also will have an impact on whether the traditional contours of the town are preserved. New roads being constructed near Nazareth, including the The Trans Israel Highway, are potential sites for road-oriented sprawl, superstore and mall development and business parks, which would destroy the rural Galilee landscape that Nazareth 2000 seeks to preserve. (105) Nazareth's downtown, meanwhile, would then risk becoming a tourist artifact rather than a living commercial area with a mix of businesses drawing local shoppers and visitors.
The Trans Israel Highway and the Arab Sector
In the Galilee, one of the proposed trajectories for the Trans Israel Highway would run from Ha Movil junction, near Bir Al Maksour, and north along the route of the National Water Carrier through the Beit Netofa Valley, which today is largely under Arab cultivation. Besides posing a danger to the national water supply, such a course raises the prospect of massive expropriation of Arab agricultural lands from residents of Sakhnin, Arrabe, and Nazareth, who farm the valley.
It is in the Triangle region, however, where the impact of the road is most apparent and profound. The approved road corridor runs directly adjacent to major Arab towns, like Taibe, Tira, Jaljulia, Kfar Kassem, and Baka Al-Garbiyeh. (106) In many cases, the highway will separate town and village centers from agricultural lands on their fringes, making access possible only via underpasses that are to be built by the road company. Major interchanges are plotted to serve Jewish, not Arab communities. There is, for instance, no interchange at the large Arab town of Taibe; rather, the interchange is located several kilometers to the south, at the tiny Jewish settlement of Tzur Natan. (107)
In cases where a major interchange is located near an Arab town, such as Kfar Kassem, Arab land near the interchange has been expropriated by government authorities for the construction of a new regional industrial park. While such development should be for the benefit of all area residents, it was not coordinated with local leaders, and local entrepreneurs were in fact forced to cancel their own commercial development plans when the land for the industrial park was expropriated from them. In the case of Kfar Kassem, the industrial park sits at close proximity to Arab residential areas along the edge of the village. A formerly open horizon of rolling agricultural fields west and southwest of the village has been transformed into a landscape of concrete and roads, which will generate high traffic volumes, noise and pollution for local residents.
The Trans Israel Highway, as it was first conceived, was clearly intended to serve a strategic purpose -- to wedge Jewish population and employment centers between the growing Arab towns of the Triangle area, thus preventing the gradual merging of the villages of the Triangle and/or the Galilee into more continuous Arab demographic blocs. (108)
However, attempts to contain Arab expansion via the construction of roads and sprawl will only inflame land conflicts over the long term, as well as degrade social environments for both populations and accelerate automobile dependency.
It is striking that an unused rail line travels along much of the Trans Israel Highway corridor in the Triangle region -- (Lod, Rosh Ha Ayin, Kfar Sava, Tira, Taibe, Nizzane Oz, Baka Al Gharbiya and Pardes Hanna, Hadera.) A rail-oriented rather than road-oriented development scheme in that area could have facilitated more compact development of both Arab and Jewish communities, and thus reduced strife over shrinking land resources. Improvements in flexible transport services -- i.e. networks of minivans and sherut taxi services -- would provide better answers to local Arab needs than still more roads.
A more sustainable policy would focus infrastructure improvements not only on road improvements but also on land use. Mixed use development -- the creation of employment centers in Arab towns, which are tailored to meet Arab requirements, and are not exclusively Jewish owned -- would help reduce political tensions, as well as the need to commute. Government subsidy of planning and infrastructure development in new Arab residential neighborhoods would help promote more clustered, compact housing patterns, as it has in Jewish neighborhoods. But such forward-looking changes in policy seem unlikely for the moment, given the unwillingness of government bodies to invest directly in the development of Arab communities and economies, as they have in the Jewish sector
The Jewish Rural Sector
Some 504,000 Israelis live in 944 rural localities, and another one million Israelis live in towns of 2 to 20,000 residents. (109) As noted previously, rural communities constitute the fastest growing population sector -- yet most of the development underway there is in the form of low-density suburbs. The rapid pace of low-density development risks transforming most rural parts of Israel into suburban extensions of nearby cities, with grave implications for rural lifestyles, agricultural space and recreational open space. (110) If transport and land use policy in rural areas is not unified with urban policy, automobile-oriented sprawl will replace farmland and open space in many of the Israeli regions that rank as most significant from the point of view of history, landscape, archeology and agriculture. (111)
In most developed countries, rural residents are more dependent on cars than urban dwellers, and car ownership rates are correspondingly higher in rural areas. In contrast, Israel's countryside traditionally was a model of transport sustainability. The kibbutz and moshav communities, where workplaces and basic health and educational services were located within walking distance of homes, reduced the unnecessary consumption of travel. Car-sharing was practiced, curbing the unnecessary proliferation of rural car ownership for decades.
However, the situation is changing rapidly due to changes in the structure of the moshav and the kibbutz -- in which agriculture plays a diminished role, "outside" work is much more common, and personal automobiles have even become a status "perk" on some kibbutzim. Inside the kibbutz as well, motorized traffic, particularly motorcycles and four-wheel all-terrain vehicles, are increasingly used to travel on internal pedestrian trails. This gradual "incursion" of motorized traffic degrades the safe, pedestrianized environment of the kibbutz.
Land Use -- Self Sufficient Communities or Bedroom Suburbs?
In terms of land use, kibbutzim were originally a model of sustainable rural development. The creation of compact, rural communities with well-defined borders between settled communities and open space permitted the preservation of culturally significant rural landscapes in a country of extraordinarily tiny dimensions.
Today, two thirds of rural communities are still kibbutzim or moshavim. But the remaining third of rural communities are primarily suburbs or "residential communities," which generally lack a strong employment or service base, or small towns of fewer than 20,000 residents. (112)
The residential community concept -- "yishuv kehilati" in Hebrew -- was developed in order to promote Jewish population dispersal in areas such as the Galilee, Triangle and Negev. In fact, it created the basic ingredient for rural sprawl -- a pattern of small, dispersed settlements that failed to develop as genuine communities as they lacked the critical mass of residents necessary to support an employment or service base. More recently, kibbutzim and moshavim are contributing to the now-rapid degradation of rural environments -- by converting former agricultural land into car-dependent, rural suburbs of single family developments and into roadside malls. Some of the development is motivated by financial opportunism and weak land use controls, but it is also driven by government policy, which has encouraged debt-ridden collectives to convert some of their land to commercial and residential real estate, in order to restore their financial solvency.
Tragically, the physical design of the kibbutz, Israel's unique innovation in the annals of town planning, has failed to be replicated in non-kibbutz locales. The kibbutz is a place where employment, basic services and residential housing coexist in one compact community, where cars are "confined" to the edges of the settlement, and green lawns and pedestrian and bike paths link homes and other destinations.
As well as degrading the rural quality of life, fast-developing sprawl also undermines the long-term viability of Israel's agricultural sector. Sprawl is covering aquifer cachement areas and consuming some of Israel's best farmland forever, while road oils washed away in rainwater runoff pollute underground water supplies. (113) Air pollution generated by traffic has a negative impact on rainfall and crop yields. High concentrations of nitrogen oxides and rural ozone -- increasingly common in Israel -- damage plants and retard plant growth. (114)
Such impacts on agriculture may not receive high priority at present, when many imported crops are less expensive than local produce. Yet soaring world populations and growing worldwide water shortages have given rise to predictions of worldwide crop shortages in the future. Prudence would still dictate that Israel's most fertile farmland should not be buried under concrete.
Infrastructure Development and the Rural Sector
While there is increasing interest in investing in mass transit systems for Israel's large cities, for the periphery recent policy has been shaped around a business-as-usual scenario. The Metropolitan Tel Aviv development plan recommends continued road expansion in the rural sector -- where roads are perceived to have a "relative advantage." (115) Similarly, the Trans Israel Highway is perceived as a tool for developing rural areas on the periphery. Neither the road, nor the small suburban settlements, nor the employment and commercial centers that are planned to be built near the highway, are generally perceived as incompatible or competing with mass transit development in the cities. (117)
As noted in Chapter III, a growing body of research in the United States and Europe suggests that this view is erroneous. Road-oriented development on the rural fringes of metropolitan areas DOES compete with efforts to introduce sustainable transport systems closer to city centers. Sprawl induced on the periphery undermines attempts to create compact, well-defined urban borders. (118_119)
The Lev Ha Sharon Experience
The Lev Ha Sharon area provides an example of the way in which the whole approach to development in the rural sector triggers car-dependent sprawl and degradation. Government and local authorities are currently examining proposals to develop a local commercial area in the region. The goal is to create local shopping, educational and leisure opportunities for the growing population of rural bedroom suburbs and moshavim -- thereby reducing traffic and congestion into Netanya. New commercial, office, and educational facilities would be consolidated into coordinated, planned centers, so as to avoid development in unplanned, and scattered sites. (120)
The plan would indeed be an innovation if an existing rural town or settlement was developed as a regional center that concentrated future population growth on one site, where an enhanced range of shopping, employment, educational and sports facilities were also available.
The focusing of rural growth in population and services into fewer locations would, over time, reduce the projected increases in rural traffic. High-frequency bus, sherut-taxi or mini-bus services could be created to and from neighboring settlements that use the commercial, educational and employment services of the enhanced town center.
Instead, the new Lev Ha Sharon commercial area is being planned as an isolated bloc of commercial development sited along a new access road running north-south between Tel Mond, Kadima and Kfar Yona. As such, it will be entirely car-dependent and, as such, a trigger for further sprawl.
Motor Vehicles and Recreational Sites
Israel's rural space and coastal areas also serve an important leisure time function for urban residents and their children, particularly for families who cannot afford to travel abroad for vacations. The transformation of rural locales and beaches in close proximity to cities into a series of car-oriented, suburban tract townships deprives city dwellers of an important source of leisure outlets close to their homes. It also diminishes, over time, appreciation for Israel's unique history, landscape and heritage.
Much of this degradation, however, is due not only to poor planning but also to the increased intrusion of recreational motor vehicles into sites that previously were used primarily by pedestrians or cyclists -- in a process parallel to that underway in more urbanized areas.
Marinas -- essentially "parking lots-in-the-sea" -- are given preference over beaches, which serve in essence, pedestrian users. Offshore, motor boats and motorized ski jets often usurp the space of swimmers -- endangering their safety while dumping oil and exhaust fumes back onto the beach.12' In parks and nature areas, all-terrain vehicles are increasingly popular -- degrading the site for the non-motorized user. Even on the pedestrian paths of kibbutzim and kibbutz resorts, cars and motorcycles are increasingly intrusive, and "club cars" are used for very short trips by staff, where bicycles or walking would suffice.
At archeological and historical sites around the country, tourist buses typically leave their diesel bus engines idling for hours, while awaiting tour groups to reboard the vehicle -- generating unnecessary pollution and noise. The design of many beaches, nature and historical sites tends to sanction the pre-eminence of the motorized vehicle -- in that parking is usually made available directly adjacent to the site -- rather than behind dunes, trees or other landscaping. Admittedly, it is important to provide easy motorized access to the disabled in such sites, but the fact is that access is usually abused by the able-bodied public. In fact, it could be said that recreational design recognizes and condones the fact that the average Israeli has become so physically unfit that he or she is unable to walk more than a few meters for a recreational event! Official authorities even set the pace for the pre-eminence of motorized vehicles in recreational settings -- using cars, jeeps and trucks to patrol beaches or c ollect trash, when foot or bicycle patrols could be effective. The perverse consequences of such practices are evident in the directional road signs and barbed wire that deface the country's upscale Herzliya beach, signing that bars unauthorized traffic on the beach, even though garbage trucks and beach patrol vehicles travel at regular intervals, posing a danger to children and sunbathers.
Approximately 21 percent of Jewish Israelis identify themselves as Orthodox, and an additional five percent identify themselves as ultra-Orthodox. (122) Orthodox households, and particularly the ultra-Orthodox ones, tend to be urban, lower income households with a higher-than average number of children. As a result, the Orthodox population is both highly dependent on public transportation -- and negatively affected by the trend towards car dependency.
Mobility - Why Car Dependency Harms Religious Families
Nationally, the level of motorization among the ultra-Orthodox population is lower than that of the rest of the population. (123) A recent Jerusalem survey revealed that the use of public transport divides almost as sharply along the line of religious observance as it does along income lines. Eighty-four percent of Orthodox and ultra-Orthodox residents use buses at least once a week, as compared to only 66 percent of those identifying themselves as "traditional." In the case of secular Jerusalemites, just 62 percent use buses regularly. (124) Male yeshiva students are discouraged from purchasing cars until they marry. Some use bicycles as an alternative mode. Since families are often large -- i.e. more than five persons -- many families cannot fit into a standard size car. As a result, not only work trips, but also leisure travel may be more common by taxi or public transport.
Religious communities traditionally have had a certain pedestrian orientation -- due to the centrality of the synagogue and study houses in ritual life. For instance, observant families almost always seek homes within walking distance of a synagogue and an extended community of friends or family that they can visit on the Sabbath by foot; such proximity to friends and family is less of a problem for the secular, who can drive.
Special-Land Use Needs of Religious Communities
Housing densities are often high in ultra-Orthodox religious neighborhoods. While that may be due to their lower average income, it also serves religious needs. A compact and more densely populated neighborhood can, for instance, more easily provide access to a range of daily synagogue services, study sessions and Sabbath activities. At the same time, however, many religious communities are sited in urban areas where the demands for roads and parking space on the part of the general public compete with the need for pedestrian space and children's play space for the religious community itself. In Jerusalem, illegally parked cars impede the pedestrian travel of religious parents and children in and around many central city religious neighborhoods.
Traffic pollution may also be extraordinarily high, posing severe health consequences. For instance, a 1995 report commissioned by the Israel Ministry of the Environment found that on average, particulate concentrations in Jerusalem's ultra-Orthodox Mea Shaarim Quarter were three to seven times above the Israeli standard. (125)
As documented previously, much of the urban automobile congestion is due to the transit of more affluent commuters living in new suburbs built on the periphery. Planning policies which facilitate the growth of dispersed, road-oriented bedroom suburbs on the periphery of Israel's urban areas -- which tend to be more secular in character -- thus indirectly spur the increase in commuter lifestyles, and in turn contribute to the degradation of urban neighborhoods where poor, ultra-Orthodox families may reside.
Even in newer, planned ultra-Orthodox neighborhoods, however, conflicts between needs for road space and needs for green space and play space are often acute. They are compounded by the fact that a larger than average percent of the available land must be set aside for public buildings -- i.e. separate schools for boys and girls, ritual baths, and different kinds of synagogues for different social groups, which often are fragmented along lines of ethnicity or religious practice (i.e., Hassidic versus Lithuanian communities). (126) Again, to the extent that car dependency is minimized, and there are good pedestrian, rail and bus links to nearby shopping and employment centers, the micro-design of such neighborhoods can be oriented more towards the multiple needs of pedestrians (children, women, yeshiva students) -- and less towards the needs of car commuters who need to enter and leave the neighborhood daily for work.
Neither-car-oriented suburban development nor hyper-dense urban high-rise development is ideal for religious lifestyles. Ultra-high-rise housing, as noted before, limits the mobility of young children, and at street level requires large road infrastructures which degrade the pedestrian environment that children thrive upon.
In Israel, heavily car-oriented, low density suburban development may lack the concentration of population necessary for a diverse array of synagogue activities, study activities and children's play. It should be noted that in the United States, suburbanization was one of the key factors in forcing religious leaders to accept de facto the use of cars on the Sabbath. The fact that the American Conservative Movement in 1950 specifically permitted car travel to and from synagogue only, dramatically illustrates how Jewish communities became more dispersed as families moved from compact cities to the suburbs, and how this dispersal dramatically changed everyday life. (127) Conversely in Israel, Conservative Movement leaders have refused to sanction driving on the Sabbath, contending that virtually every Jew who wants to can live within walking distance of a synagogue. (128)
A unique type of suburban community has developed to answer ritual needs, in which admittance is restricted only to ultra-Orthodox families. However, these suburbs still suffer from other problems similar to those found in secular suburbs. They lack employment and shopping opportunities; car dependency is high, creating a heavy financial burden on large families forced to maintain two cars; bus service is poor; women's work options become limited by the long commute required to employment centers; and there is little socio-economic diversity. The social isolation of these suburbs also contributes to social polarization -- between secular and religious groups, and even between various ultra-Orthodox streams.
Sabbath Transport and Religious Legislation Towards a Better Definition of Priorities
Religious leaders who set policy and priorities for the religious community have displayed little understanding of the ways in which transport policy shapes lifestyles, social interactions and ethical values. Gershom Gorenberg, a religious commentator, observes:
"The religious population should have an interest in creating communities, which share celebrations, and look beyond the individual nuclear family to the larger group, in preventing the atomization of society and alienation of the individual. The way you build a cityscape will affect what kind of community you produce. Public transportation encourages towns to have a center -- and that is also a physical statement of community. Road dependency creates the exact opposite effect, it discourages the creation of community centers." (129)
Unfortunately, popular religious concerns about car travel have focused narrowly on the limiting of automobile traffic on the Sabbath -- i.e. the ultra-Orthodox demands to close the Bar Ilan Road in Jerusalem. Too little attention has been given to the way urban congestion -- spurred on by the growth in commuter suburbs on the periphery -- degrades inner-city ultra-Orthodox communities seven days a week -- fostering social tensions between more affluent, secular car users and a generally poorer, religious public.
Often ultra-Orthodox-inspired efforts to prevent Sabbath travel actually generate MORE travel. The complete shutdown of public transport on the Sabbath fosters even greater car dependency than on weekdays. Efforts to shut down businesses in town and city center locations on the Sabbath have forced the locus of much Sabbath day activity to move to car-dependent shopping mall sites -- a trend that spurs commercial flight from cities and ultimately creates more travel demands on the Sabbath -- as well as on weekdays.
Due in part to religious legislation, shopping malls have now become major Sabbath leisure centers for secular Israelis.
Despite the lip service paid to the sanctity of the Land of Israel, religious leaders seem to be unaware of the ways in which auto-dependent development is irrevocably destroying Israel's Biblical landscape -- a heritage that religious Jews, Christians and Muslims have viewed as a source of spiritual inspiration for centuries.
There also is little awareness in the religious community of the benefits of sustainable transport systems. Development of urban pedestrian networks, car-free zones and "traffic calming" can reduce Sabbath tensions over traffic and improve quality of life in poor neighborhoods, both religions and secular. Urban train or tram services that operated on the Sabbath could help ease conflicts over Sabbath road closures in religious neighborhoods. Trains can potentially be routed underground through center city religious quarters so that unimpeded passage is assured on the Sabbath with no disturbance whatsoever to the neighborhood -- a scheme being considered for parts of Jerusalem's light rail development plan. (130) Although train travel, per se, might be unacceptable to religious Jews personally, automated electric trains, trains or people movers which could be operated automatically, opening at every stop, should be "less objectionable" than gasoline-driven vehicles, which require human guidance and rely on gas oline combustion. Sabbath elevators, operating on similar principles, are in fact used widely by the religious public. In the early part of the century, certain ultra-Orthodox rabbis even permitted the use of trolley buses and trains by Jews on the Sabbath under limited conditions, mostly in North African and Egyptian communities. (131)
While most of the discussion here focuses on the religious public, secular leaders, too, play a role in fueling controversies over Sabbath transport. Secular Israelis -- and even transport planners -- often exaggerate the innate importance of the automobile--and perceive car travel exclusively as a symbol of independence and freedom. Secular politicians generally relate to the tensions triggered by the controversy over Sabbath street closings as a religious issue rather than as a genuine transport issue. They therefore fail to acknowledge the very high price urban-bound religious communities pay in traffic-generated noise and air pollution. The secular, as well as the religious public, can in fact reap benefits from reasonably designed limits on car travel in the cities which accommodate religious sensibilities -- witness, for instance, the explosion of bicycles and skateboards on empty city streets on Yom Kippur.
Transport policy is not a zero-sum game that necessarily pits the affluent against the poor, or urban dwellers against their rural counterparts. While certain groups such as women, children and the elderly may suffer more from car-dependent development -- in the end almost all levels of society are impacted. Israel is too small a country for any social group to escape the implications of car-oriented development.
While less visible at times, air pollution erodes quality of life in affluent suburbs, just as it does in urban areas. Car dependency traps affluent Israelis, as well as the poor, in an unending cycle of congestion, urban degradation and flight. Sprawl, which tends to develop as isolated blocs of housing, commercial and entertainment centers, connected only by automobile access, leaves commercial areas abandoned at night -- and prone to vandalism and break-ins, while residential areas are emptied during the day, also inviting crime. While many middle-class Israelis see the automobile as a symbol of personal freedom -- they too lose out from an automobile-dependent society, which is both insular and fragmented.
Conversely, when poor sectors of society enjoy good public transport services and a high urban quality of life -- affluent sectors also benefit, not only from the added transport options but also from less traffic congestion, revitalized cities and neighborhoods and safer streets. Pedestrian systems that minimize the intrusion of traffic into poor religious communities also can improve urban quality of life overall for secular residents, both rich and poor. Ultimately, both the affluent and the poor reap social benefits from a sustainable transport model in which community residential, commercial and leisure elements are integrated.
The Urban Village
Evidence from around the world suggests that the critical threshold level needed for some form of public transport is only about 30 to 50 persons per hectare or about three to five persons per dunam (1/4 acre). That translates to about six to ten persons per dunam in the built space. (132) These numbers are hardly high, by Israeli standards. With growth channeled into existing rural and urban population centers, with compact, mixed-use designs with a strong pedestrian orientation, both urban and rural communities could achieve the higher overall (gross densities) needed to support public transport. They could preserve moderate densities in the built space by saving on the excess development of roads and residential and commercial parking. (133)
An emphasis on high quality urban and interurban public transport can be used synergistically with land use policies to shape cities, towns and communities where people can live, work and play in more "integral" neighborhoods, and where basic needs can be met without unnecessary commutes and car travel. Encouraging viable urban rail systems and vibrant pedestrian networks can foster economic patterns that give small, neighborhood and traditional stores in central business areas a fighting chance to compete against incursion by car-dependent superstores and shopping malls.
Development of new retail/office space complexes along highway corridors should be banned - and future commercial development channeled into new or existing town and city centers, linked by high quality pedestrian and public transport networks to a larger framework of homes and services.
Such systems can foster travel patterns that give disadvantaged groups high quality mobility--along with the affluent. It can foster equal access to quality transport for all social sectors. And it can create patterns of travel that reduce social tensions rather than exacerbate them; where Israelis are not just anonymous (and often hostile) competitors for road space behind the wheel of a private car, but part of a larger social framework in which different social, economic and religious groups meet and rub shoulders on the street; and in which society's weakest sectors, like children and senior citizens, enjoy the maximum mobility.
Ultimately, the goal is to create, or maintain, what planners today call the "urban village" -- community-oriented units that replicate some of the social networks prevalent in traditional towns and villages. Some may regard such a vision as quaint or outmoded -- even though it is being realized today in many parts of Europe -- and aspire to an alternative, American model. Before rushing towards the American dream, however, they should take heed of the critics, among them architect James Howard Knustler, who describe the ruin wrecked by the car on the American social landscape:
"Americans sense that something is wrong with the places where we live and work and go about our daily business. We hear this unhappiness expressed in phrases like "no sense of place" and the "loss of community." We drive up and down the gruesome, tragic suburban boulevards of commerce and we're overwhelmed at the fantastic, awesome, stupefying ugliness of absolutely everything in sight -- the fry pits, the big box stores, the office units, the lube joints, the carpet warehouses, the parking lagoons, the jive plastic townhouse clusters, the uproar of signs, the highway itself clogged with cars -- as though the whole thing had been designed by some diabolical force bent on making human beings miserable.
"The highway strip is not just a sequence of eyesores. The pattern it represents is also economically catastrophic, an environmental calamity, socially devastating and spiritually degrading." (134)
[FIGURE 17 OMITTED]
Travel and Occupational Status Profession Interurban Trips Per Week Standing Army/Police 2.99 Executives 2.68 Professional Employees in Industry 2.11 Academics 1.93 Unskilled Workers 1.81 Teachers, Technicians and Nurses 1.61 Sales persons 1.56 Secretaries/clerks 1.32 Service workers 1.27 Total 1.77 Source: The Trans Israel Highway Co., 1994 (7) Percent of Group Using Public Transport at Least Once a Week Jerusalem, 1996 Men 59% Women 79% Youths (under age 24) 85% Adults (ages 25-59) 65% Senior Citizens (65+) 87% Religious/ultra-Orthodox 84% Secular 62% Low Income Persons 82% High Income Persons 57% Source: The Jerusalem Transport Master Plan, Travel Habits Survey, 1994-1996
(1.) Central Bureau of Statistics, Special Publication #975. Table 27. "Ownership of Durable Goods According to Family Size:"
Households Owing One Car or More - 1992 (By Number of Family Members) 1 member 23.2% 2 members 42.3% 3 members 55.4% 4 members 67.2% 5 members 68.4% 6 or more members 51.8% Average 50.4%
(2 ) Jerusalem Transport Master Plan, Transport in Jerusalem, Selected Statistics, Publication Number 1. Report of the Master Plan's Travel Habits Survey, 1994-1996. Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies p. 23. (in Hebrew)
(3.) The Trans Israel Highway Company, Traffic Analysis and Economic Evaluation, Final Report. November 1994, (in Hebrew), Page 3-35.
(4.) Central Bureau of Statistics, Motor Vehicles 31-12-1997, Current Briefings in Statistics No. 12, Jerusalem, 1998. Included in the calculation of car ownership were 2/3 of the fleet of light commercial vehicles. Rates for Tel Aviv-Jaffo also were adjusted downwards, while ownership in the Tel Aviv metropolitan area was adjusted upwards -- according to the formula used by the Trans Israel Highway Co. in its Traffic Analysis and Economic Evaluation (see Chapter II, footnote 19.)
(5.) Todd Litman, Transportation Cost Analysis, Techniques, Estimates and Implications. Victoria Transport Policy Institute. December 6, 1996. p. 7-2.
(6.) Hu and Young, 1990 NPTS Data book, Vol. 1, Federal Highway Works Agency, Washington, D.C. Nov.1993, Table 3-14. as cited in Todd Litman, Transportation Cost Analysis, Techniques, Estimates and Implications.
(7.) Ibid, Trans Israel Highway Co. "National Travel Habits Survey-1993" Traffic Analysis and Economic Evaluation November, 1994, (Hebrew version). p. 23.
(8.) Ibid. Page 3-48.
(9.) Ibid. Motorization projections are calculated from Table 3.22, which projects the total car fleet per sub-district until 2020 & Table 3.7, which projects population per sub-district until 2020.
(10.) The Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution: Transport and the Environment. HMSO, London, 1994. p. 17.
(11.) Ibid. Todd Litman, Transportation Cost Analysis: Techniques, Estimates and Implications.. p. 7-4.
(12.) Conrad Wagner, Balance Inc., Switzerland, Personal Communication.
(13.) Rafael Lehrman, "The Metropolitan Space. Identification of Trends and Development Directions," in Principles for the Development Policy of Metropolitan Tel Aviv, Stage Aleph, Definition of the Metropolitan Space, Interim Report The Ministry of Interior, No. 1, March 14, 1996. p. 15. (in Hebrew) & Maya Choshen and Na'ama Shahar, eds. "The Internal Migration Balance of Jews in Jersualem, Tel Aviv, Jaffa and Haifa in Selected Years," The Jerusalem Statistical Yearbook. 1996. Municipality of Jerusalem, The Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies, p. 77.
(14.) Ibid. The Jerusalem Statistical Yearbook "Migration to and from Jerusalem in Selected years," 1996. p. 80.
(15.) Dr. Maya Choshen, The Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies, 1996. Press communication. Choshen notes that her preliminary findings from a survey of Jerusalem residents who left the city identified housing, employment and religious-secular relations as the three primary reasons for emigrating. However, fourth on the list is "deteriorating quality of life in the city" a factor which can be ascribed in large part to the substantial increase in traffic congestion, traffic noise, and traffic pollution in Jerusalem in the past decade. Deterioration in city quality of life, notably, is cited more frequently than educational quality, Arab-Jewish tensions, or the lack of entertainment options, as the primary reason for leaving the city.
(16.) Ibid. The Jerusalem Statistical Yearbook 1996. "Population Movement Balance in Jerusalem by Subquarter, 1995." Map. p. 89.
(17.) Ibid. Ministry of Interior, Principles for the Development Policy of Metropolitan Tel Aviv (in Hebrew) Note: The impacts of traffic congestion on urban decline are noted and dealt with at length in the series of Ministry of Interior documents on development trends in metropolitan Tel Aviv. However, press articles and public statements have tended to focus more on housing and employment in the shaping of overall urban policy.
(18.) OCDE-OECD Environmental Policy Benefits: Monetary Valuation Paris, 1989. p. 30: The following table from this document illustrates how urban air pollution is quantifiably linked to housing value depreciation.
CITY YEAR OF POLLUTANT POLLUTION PROPERTY DATA VALUE St. Louis 1960 Sulfates (from SOX) +.10% -.6% St. Louis 1963 Particulates +.14% -.12% Chicago 1964-1967 TSP & Sulphates +.50% -.20% Toronto-Hamilton 1961 Sulfates +.12% -.6% Washington 1970 Particulates +.12% -.5% Pittsburgh 1969-70 Dust and Sulpates +.15 -.9%
(19.) Ibid. OCDE-OECD, Environmental Policy Benefits: Monetary Valuation p.3O. The fo11owing findings are cited linking traffic noise to housing value depreciation.
TRAFFIC NOISE AND HOUSE PRICES: SUMMARY OF FIELD STUDIES LOCATION IMPACT OF ONE UNIT CHANGE IN EQUIVALENT CONTINUOUS SOUND LEVEL * Washington D.C. -.88% Spokane, Washington -.8% North Virginia -.14% Chicago -.65% Toronto, Canada -1.05% Basel, Switzerland -1.26% * Equivalent Continuous Sound Level is a level of constant sound in dBA which would have the same sound energy over a given period as the measured flunctuating sound under consideration.
(20.) Shimon Golan, "A Survey of Public Environmental Awareness," The Haifa District Environmental Town Association, 1990. p. 9. (in Hebrew)
(21.) Ibid. p. 7.
(22.) Sagi Nevo and Dorit Ben Or, The Center for Research into Natural and Environmental Resources, Haifa University, "The Impact of Noise on Apartment Prices," Ha Biosphera, March-April, 1994. pp.3-7. 3 [LANGUAGE NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]
(23.) The Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution, Transport and the Environment, HMSO, London, October, 1994. pp. 47-50.
(24.) The University of Cornwall, England, Study on Children near Airport in Munich.
(25.) The Netherlands, Ministry of Transport, Annual Report on Transport in The Netherlands, 1995. p. 36. The Report states: "The train is also more attractive than driving as far as noise pollution is concerned. This was proven in a recent TNO study of perceived nuisance from environmental pollution in The Netherlands. With an approximately 50 percent growth in train traffic, the amount of people experiencing noise pollution still decreased over the past 10 years."
(26.) Arza Churchman, "Differentiated Perspective on Urban Quality of Life, Women, Children and the Elderly," in Perception and Evaluation of Urban Environment Quality. ed. Mirilia Bonnes, UNESCO Programme on Man and Biosphere, Proceedings of International Symposium, Rome November 28-30, 1993. p. 169.
(27.) John Whitelegg, Transport for a Sustainaable Future: The Case for Europe, John Wiley Press, Great Britain, p. 100-1. Derived from Appleyard (1981)
(28.) Ibid: Transport For a Sustainable Future
(29.) Ibid. The Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution, Transport and the Environment p. 51.
(30.) Central Bureau of Statistics, Statistical Abstract of Israel 1996, Tables 2.9, 2-6.
(31.) Yehuda Gur & Shuki Cohen, "Transport in Israeli Cities at the Outset of the 21ST Century," Israel 2020 Plan, Haifa Technion, Stage Three (Gimmel), Report No. 18. (in Hebrew).
(32.) The estimate of bus patronage in the Tel Aviv area is from Pioter Vopshaw, Israel Institute for Transport Planning and Research, May, 1997.
(33.) The government's 1996 Budget Summary, p. 157, noted that about 40 percent of the annual bus operating subsidy is designated for ticket reductions precisely to those groups along the following scale: elderly and low income- 33% reduction; youth-50% reduction; soldiers- 70% reduction.
(34.) The Trans Israel Highway Co. Traffic Analysis and Economic Evaluation, Final Report, November, 1994. Travel Habits Survey. pp. 12,38. (in Hebrew)
(35.) In addition, there is a fundamental subjective distortion in the way that travel costs are paid by public transport users as compared with private car owners that contributes to overuse of the roads and underuse of the public transport system. Whereas transit costs are distributed more or less evenly over every trip, travel by car is actually cheaper than by public transport in many cases, once the initial investment in an automobile, and yearly license and maintenance fees are made, creating an incentive to added use.
(36.) Central Bureau of Statistics & Ministry of Transport, "Transport Statistics Quarterly: The Consumer Price Index of Transport and Communication," Jerusalem, 1994. Summary Tables 8&9. (in Hebrew)
(37.) Bank Ha Poalim, Economics Department, Consumer Price Index Survey, June, 1996.
(38.) Central Bureau of Statistics, Statistical Abstract of Israel, 1996. Tables 18.5 and 2.1; Population, 1985=4,266,200; 1995=5,619,000; bus kilometrage; 1985=371 million kilometers; 1995=391 million kilometers.
(39.) Ibid. Trans Israel Highway, Traffic Analysis and Economic Evaluation, Travel Habits Survey, p. 19. (in Hebrew)
(40.) Baruch Yona, Director of Economics and Finance, Ministry of Transport, personal communication. May 11, 1997.
(41.) The Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution, Transport and the Environment, 1994. London, p. 117.
(42.) AASHTO International Transportation Observer ,"German Environment Pass: Success Story," American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. Washington, D.C. January, 1991. p. 1.
(43.) The dispute is recorded in letters to Dr. Gilberg from Gideon Geva, Environment Ministry Comptroller, December 25, 1995, and Shalom Sari, Deputy Minister of Administration, January 9, 1996.
(44.) Ibid. Arza Churchman, UNESCO Programme on Man and Biosphere. p. 169.
(45.) Kerry Hamilton and Linda Jenkins, "Women and Transport," in M. Grieco, L. Pickup, and R. Whipp. Gender, Transport, and Employment. Great Britain.
(46.) Ibid. Arza Churchman, UNESCO Programme on Man and Biosphere. pp. 165-178. & The Israel Women's Network, "The Urban Environment and Women in Israel," & "Peripheral Areas and Women in Israel" in Habitat II Shadow Report, June, 1996. pp. 25-53.
(47.) Central Bureau of Statistics, Statistical Abstract of Israel, 1997. Jerusalem, Tables 12.2 and 12.6
(48.) Central Bureau of Statistics, Statistical Abstract of Israel, 1997. Jerusalem, Tables 12.7 & 2.18. Note: There are 37,100 Arab women (including Druze, Bedouin, Christians and Muslims) between the ages of 18-34 in the labor force among a population of 155,200 in the same age bracket.
(49.) Adva Center, "A Breakdown of Personal Income, Employees and Self-Employed, by Decile and Gender, January 1996" in Looking at the 1997 Budget, November, 1996. (in Hebrew)
(50.) Central Bureau of Statistics, Statistical Abstract Israel 1997 Jerusalem, Table 12.2 & 12.16.
(51.) Central Bureau of Statistics, Statistical Abstract of Israel 1997. Jerusalem, Table 12.16.
(52.) Ibid. The Trans Israel Highway Co. Traffic Analysis and Economic Evaluation, Travel Habits Survey, p. 7. (in Hebrew)
(53.) Ibid. p. 17.
(54.) The Israel Women's Network, "Report on Women in Work and the Economy," 1995 p. 12. (In Hebrew)
(55.) Ibid. The Trans-Israel Higway Co., Traffic Analysis and Economic Evaluation. Travel Habits Survey, p. 54. (in Hebrew)
(56.) Ibid. p. 21..
(57.) Ibid. Arza Churchman, UNESCO Programme on Man and Biosphere, p. 169.
(58.) Ibid. The Israel Women's Network, Habitat II Shadow Report, p. 12.
(59.) Ibid. Arza Churchman, UNESCO Programme on Man and Biosphere. p. 171.
(60.) Arza Churchman, "Study of Factors in Sense of Safety, Physical Problems in Order of Frequency," Presented at the Society for the Protection of Nature Annual Meeting, Tel Aviv, January, 1997.
(61.) Ibid. Arza Churchman, UNESCO Programme on Man and Biosphere. p. 169.
(62.) Central Bureau of Statistics, Statistical Abstract of Israel 1996. Table 2:18. Numbers of Israelis Ages 0-4: 567,100;Ages 5-9: 545,400; Agesl0-14: 526,000.
(63.) Central Bureau of Statistics, Statistical Abstract of Israel 1996. Tables 11.1; 126; 12:10; There are 551,200 Jewish households, 42 percent of the total, with children under the age of 14.
(64.) Mayer Hillman et al. (1991) cited in D. Appleyard, Liveable Streets, University of California Press, Berkeley, 1991. p. 104-107
(65.) Dr. Thomas Platts Mills, University of Virginia's Asthma and Allergic Diseases Center as cited in Geoffrey Cowley and Anne Underwood, "Why Ebonie Can't Breathe," Newsweek, May 26, 1997. p. 47.
(66.) Ibid. The Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution. Transport and the Environment. p. 27.
(67.) Fiona Godlee, "Air Pollution: II- Road Traffic and Modern Industry," in Health and the Environment, eds. Fiona Godlee and Alison Walker, British Medical Journal, 1992.
(68.) John R. Goldsmith, M.D. "Health Risk from Vehicle Emissions" in Preservation of Our World in the Wake of Change, Vol. VI B, ISEQS Publications, Jerusalem, Israel, 1 1996. Editor, Y. Steinberger. p. 881.
(69.) Dr. Elihu Richter, M.D., Unit of Occupational and Environmental Health, Hadassah Hebrew University Medical School, personal communication. May, 1997.
(70.) Arza Churchman, "Children in Urban Environments, the Israeli Experience," from Managing Urban Space in the Interest of Children eds. W. Michelson and E. Michelson, Canada/MAP Committee, 1980. p.51.
(71.) Ibid. p.50.
(72.) Ibid. pp. 46-50.
(73.) Haim Avnaim, of Dunhill Bike Manufacturers, Beersheva. Personal Communication. Avnaim estimates that 170,000 bicycles are sold in Israel every year, of which 50,000 are mountain bikes designated for ages 14 and upwards. The remainder, 120,000, are children's bicycles.
(74.) Central Bureau of Statistics, Statistical Abstract of Israel 1996 Jerusalem, Table 2.28.
(75.) Ibid. Arza Churchman, UNESCO Programme on Man and Biosphere p. 171 and Arza Churchman, "Children in Urban Environments: The Israeli Experience," p. 54.
(76.) WHO World Health Statistics Annual, Geneva, 1994-1995. & Central Bureau of Statistics, Statistical Abstract of Israel, 1996, Table 2.21.
(77.) Ibid. Jerusalem Statistical Yearbook. "Median Age of Jerusalem Population, by Subquarter," 1995. p. 54.
(78.) Arza Churchman, "The Planning of Residential Neighborhoods With A Special Emphasis on the Elderly," Gerontology, Winter-Spring, 1981. (Hebrew)
(79.) Ibid. Arza Churchman, UNESCO Programme on Man and Biosphere p. 172.
(80.) Ibid. Arza Churchman, Gerontology
(81.) Ibid. John Whitelegg, Transport for a Sustainable Future: The Case for Europe. pp. 98-9. Transport and Health Study Group. Health on the Move: Policies for Health Promoting Transport. Public Health Alliance, Birmingham, Great Britain, 1991, p. 3.
(82.) Berkman, L. F., and S. L. Syme. "Social Networks, Host Resistance, and Mortality: A Nine Year Follow Up of Alameda County Residents." American Journal of Epidemiology 109 (1979): 186-204. Blazer, D. G. "Social Support and Mortality in an Elderly Community Population." American Journal of Epidemiology 115 (1982): 686-94.
(83.) For breakdown on drivers' license holders by age see: Ministry of Transport, Representative Statistics of the Transport Branch, May, 1996. p. 18. (in Hebrew) & Central Bureau of Statistics, Statistical Abstract of Israel 1996. Table 2.21.
(84.) Dr. Gary Ginsberg, Aharon Serry, Elaine Fletcher, Dani Koutik Phd, et al. "Mortality From Vehicular Particulate Emissions in Tel Aviv-Jaffo." 1998, & personal communication.
(85.) RD Morris, EN Naumova, RL Munasinghe, "Ambient air pollution and hospitalization for Congestive Heart Failure among the Elderly in Seven Large American Cities" (ABST) Sixth Conference of the International Society for Environmental Epidemiology, Research Triangle Park, NC, Sept 18-21, 1994.
(86.) John R. Goldsmith, MD., "Health Risk from Vehicle Emissions," in Preservation of Our World in the Wake of Change ed. Y. Steinberger, Vol VIB, ISEQS Pub. Jerusalem, page 880.
(87.) This is an estimate of the Umbrella Organization of Associations for the Disabled, P.O.B. 57146 Tel Aviv, 61570. It is comparable to estimates from Europe. According to the Central Bureau of Statistics, 272, 794 Israelis, about 4.5 % of the population, received disability funds in 1996.
(88.) Portions of this section are derived from Yaakov Garb, "Sustainable Transport: Some Challenges for Israel and Palestine," in World Transport Policy and Practice, Volume 4, No. 1, 1998, pp. 21-28. He compares Arab motorization rates to those in Argentina (133), Costa Rica (106) and Mexico (131).
(89.) Rassem Khamaisi, The Development of Transportation Infrastructure in Arab Localities in Israel. The Floersheimer Institute for Policy Studies (Jerusalem), 1995. (in Hebrew)
(90.) Complaints by Arab residents and municipal officials regarding the absence of employment zones in Arab & Bedouin towns, have been noted in repeated visits by the author between 1987 and 1996 to Bedouin townships of the Negev, and the Arab towns and cities of the Triangle and the Galilee.
(91.) Central Bureau of Statistics, Statistical Abstract of Israel 1997 Jerusalem, Table, 2.28.
(92.) Ibid. Central Bureau of Statistics, Statistical Abstract of Israel 1997. Table 12.17. The Percent of Arab women who do not work, but study, ages 18-24 is 15.1%; Among Jewish women the percent who study full-time is 18 percent, while another 10 percent of Jewish women combine work with study.
(93.) This observation was made by the author during interviews with women residents of Umm El Fahm in the early 1990s.
(94.) International Road Federation. World Road Statistics. 1989-1993, 1994. Geneva.
(95.) Amiran Gonen and Rassem Khamaisi. Towards a Policy of Urbanization Poles for the Arab Population in Israel. The Floersheimer Institute for Policy Studies, Jerusalem, 1993.
(96.) The information in the paragraph is provided by Emily Silberman, of the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel.
(97.) Ibid. Rassem Khaimaisi, The Development of Transportation Infrastructure in Arab Localities in Israel.
(98.) Ibid. p. 6.
(99.) The observations vis a vis Kafr Kara are from a visit to the village by the author in 1996.
(100.) Aryeh Rahamimoff, Architects and Urban Planners, Nazareth 2000, A Plan for the Development of Tourist Infrastructures for the Years 1995-1999. A joint project of the City of Nazareth, Israel Government Tourist Corporation, and the Ministry of Tourism, July 1995. (in Hebrew) Note: These observations also are drawn from visits by the author to the city of Nazareth and its environs in 1996 and 1997.
(101.) The observation that road-widening in pedestrian areas was viewed as a sign of progress in the 1970s and 1980s is made by Adib Daoud, Nazareth-based architect and member of the Nazareth 2000 planning team.
(102.) Aryeh Rahamimoff, Architects and Planners, Nazareth 2000. July, 1995. p. 62.
(103.) Ibid. p. 64.
(104.) Ibid. p. 114.
(105.) This observation is informed by a visit to the Tzippori area in April, 1997, and interviews with residents of Moshav Tzippori regarding regional development plans.
(106.) This section is informed by discussions with Yehonaton Golani, former Interior Ministry official in charge of the plans for the original "Seven Stars" project along the Trans Israel Highway corridor in January, 1991, as well as by visits to the villages of Kfar Kassem and Kfar Kara in 1996, and interviews with Kfar Kassem city officials.
(107.) Trans Israel Highway Company, Route 6 map.
(108.) The Jewish fears vis a vis the demographic and land use implications of illegal Arab building, and the gradual merging of Arab towns and cities into one block were described comprehensively in the Markovitch Report, an inter-ministerial report on illegal building in the Arab sector in the late 1980s.
(109.) Ibid. Central Bureau of Statistics, Statistical Abstract of Israel 1996 Jerusalem, Table 2.9.
(110.) Ibid. The Metropolitan Planning Team: A Document of Principles for the Development Policy of the Metropolitan Tel Aviv Area, Stage Aleph, Report No. 1. pp. 37-38. (in Hebrew): See the discussion by Shlomo Hassson and Maya Hoshen about the dangers of the metropolitan area extending beyond its presently defined "borders" to the entire area between Modi'in, Ashdod and Netanya, and the creation of an unbroken chain of suburban development linking existing urban areas together from the Mediterranean coast to Israel's international borders.
(111.) Motti Kaplan & Oren Dayan, A Master Plan for Israel in the 21st Century Special Subjects in Planning Policy, "The Open Space Network," Haifa Technion & The Office of Engineers, Architects, and Academics-Society of Architects and City Planners in Israel, 1996. (in Hebrew)
(112.) Ibid. Central Bureau of Statistics, Statistical Abstract of Israel 1996, Jerusalem, Table 29.
(113.) The increased presence of gasoline oils in rainwater runoff is noted in Elaine Fletcher, The Jerusalem Report "Poisoning the Land of Milk and Honey," May 16, 1991.
(114.) Ibid. The Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution, Transport and the Environment p.36. The report notes that high levels of nitrogen oxides and ozone can damage plants and retard plant growth, as well as damage trees: "In experimental studies UK ozone episodes have significantly reduced growth in several crop species."
(115.) Ibid. The Metropolitan Planning Team, A Document of Principles for Development Policy in Metropolitan Tel Aviv, March 27, 1997, p. 11.
(116.) Ibid. p. 11. These twin goals are articulated in the document
(117.) Ibid. The Trans Israel Highway Company, Traffic Analysis and Economic Evaluation. "Primary Sites for Possible Development Along the Trans Israel Highway Route." Annex 3.2. (in Hebrew) Note: An analysis of the projects proposed reveals that most are single use developments of homes or commercial development unconnected to existing urban entities, and thus will promote unsustainable patterns of sprawl, as well as excessive dependence on automobile transport -- generating toll road revenues.
(118.) Daniel Carlson and Don Billen, Transportation Corridor Management Are We Linking Transportation and Land Use Yet? University of Washington, Institute for Public Policy and Management, October, 1996.
(119.) Ibid. The Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution, Transport and the Environment London, pp. 147 & 181. Notes: A study in Great Britain of development along the M40 highway between London and Oxford notes how developers also pressure for zoning changes along a new highway. The M40's development, the report notes, was built through previously open country, and spurred development that was not in accordance with approved plans -- superstores, multi-screen cinemas, office blocks, etc. Traffic generated by the low-density development created new highway problems and the need for further road improvements. Concludes the Commission:
"Development pressures may be difficult to resist even when they run counter to existing planning policies. New roads around urban areas create particularly strong development pressures. Modeling carried out by the International Study Group on Land Use/Transport Interaction suggests that provision of a fast outer ring road encourages more decentralization of employment, particularly service and retail.... Perhaps the most intractable problems arise in the less isolated rural areas, especially in the vicinity of large conurbations."
(120.) Eren Razin and Anna Hazan, "Steps for Countering Dispersed Suburbanization" (in Hebrew) Floursheimer Institute for Policy Research. December 1996, Jerusalem.
(121.) In November 1996, four-year-old Yarden Freidman of Moshav Ein Iron near Hadera was struck and killed by an ATV on a beach. (Joel Gordin, "The Fatal Shore" Terusalem Post Magazine June 20, 1997) prompting a police crackdown on some, but not all motorized traffic in leisure and beach sites.
(122.) Dr. Tamar Herman, Tami Steinmetz Center for Peace Research, Tel Aviv University. The estimates on religious identification are derived from a monthly public opinion survey of 500 Jewish Israelis conducted by the Steinmetz Center for Peace Research. According to the results of the August 1997 survey, which also are consistent with previous surveys, Jewish Israelis identify themselves in the following way: Haredi- 5%; Religious- 21%; Traditional-31 %; Secular-39%; Secular "believers" - 3.5%; No Jewish identification .5 %.
(123.) Ibid. The Trans Israel Highway Company, Economic and Traffic Analysis, p. 3-33. (in Hebrew)
(124.) Ibid. The Jerusalem Transport Master Plan, Travel Habits Survey, 1996 pp. 28-30. (in Hebrew.
(125.) Alf Fishbein et al, "Lead in Environmental Dust," Final Report to the Chief Scientist of the Israel Ministry of the Environment, 1995, Table 1. Measurements of lead, manganese and total suspended particulates were made in a series of 31, 24-hour readings, performed over a three-month period. The readings were taken at two sites in the Mea Shaarim area--at the Geological Survey Institute and at Kikar Shabbat. The average at the GSI site was 544 micrgrams per cubic meter, and at the Kikar Shabbat site, 1362.
(126.) This observation is from Israel Kimche, former Jerusalem city engineer. The Jerusalem Center for Israel Studies, Jerusalem. He notes that while the law permits up to 40 percent of available land in any new development to be expropriated for public needs--ultra-Orthodox communities may need 50 percent or more of the available space to accommodate all ofthe public buildings their lifestyle demands.
(127.) The Rabbinical Assembly of Israel, "Responsa of the Va'ad Ha Halacha of the Rabbinical Assembly in Israel, ed. Rabbi David Golinken. Volume 4, The Masoreti [Conservative] Movement 1992. (in Hebrew) & Rabbi Ben Zion Bokser, "The Halacha of Travel on the Sabbath." in Tradition and Change, The Development of Conservative Judaism ed. Mordechai Waxman, New York, The Burning Bush Press, 1958.
(128.) The Rabbinical Assembly of Israel, "Responsa of the Va'ad Ha Halacha of the Rabbinical Assembly of Israel, ed. David Golinken, Volume 4, The Masoreti Movement, Jerusalem, 1992. pp. 17-23. (in Hebrew)
(129.) This opinion was expressed by Gershom Gorenberg, who writes on religious affairs for The Jerusalem Report and The New Republic, June 18, 1996, personal communication.
(130.) One of the alternatives for the proposed Jerusalem light-rail system contains a proposed underground link through the downtown Jerusalem neighborhoods near the ultra-Orthodox neighborhood of Mea Shearim. See Map of Proposed Light Rail System, Chapter 4.
(131.) Responsas of the Va'ad Ha Halacha, of the Rabbinical Assembly of Israel, Volume 4, Rabbi David Golinken, The Masoreti Movement 1992, Jerusalem. While presently, Orthodox rabbis forbid travel by public transport, those who permitted such travel under certain limited conditions earlier in the century are said to include, Rabbi Leo Ginsburg, Rabbi Yosef Mashash, Rabbi Nissim Binyamin Ohana, Rabbi Somekh; & Rabbi Yosef Entibi.
(132.) Ibid. Peter Newman, "Reducing Travel Through Land Use Planning" in Travel in the City, Making it Sustainable, International Conference, p. 106: Newman speaks here about the critical density necessary to support of a good public transport system as 30 persons per hectare. The Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution, Transport and Environment, p. 149, reports that travel demand falls sharply as densities increase about 50 persons per hectare.
(133.) Ibid. The Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution, Transport and the Environment: The report recommends the development of "key villages" large enough to support essential services. London, 1994, pp. 181.
(134.) Howard Knustler, Home from Nowhere.
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|Publication:||Israel Equality Monitor|
|Date:||Jan 1, 1999|
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