Traffic Chaos to Occur in Tel Aviv due to Allenby Street Closure
Tel Aviv’s Allenby Street is scheduled for closure in two stages in order for work to begin on the Purple Line of the light rail in the city. The first stage is set to begin from September and it is expected to result in major traffic disruptions throughout the city.
Every day, there are 180 buses that move along the public transport lanes every hour in one of the main thoroughfares of the city. Then the buses go through the entire metropolitan area in Tel Aviv, all the way from Bat Yam to Petah Tikva. This means that both bus passengers and cars in the region will have to face traffic disruptions.
Work has already begun at Allenby Street’s northeastern end at Opera Square, which leads to the forefront. Starting from September, Allenby Street’s section between King George Streets and Pinsker, will be shut down. The bus routes that are used to travel to the Carmelit terminal will not be rerouted through the Ahad Ha’am, Montefiore and Geula.
There will be more changes that will be implemented in November, as they will start closing down another section of Allenby Street in stages, which lies between King George and Levinsky Streets.
The closure had originally been scheduled to happen back in April, but the permit for closing the street was turned down by the Tel Aviv-Yafo Municipality. They said that they wanted the Red Line of the light rail to be operational before the closure, which resulted in the delay till November. However, it is still uncertain as to whether the light rail will be operational in November or not.
The plan indicates that the buses that currently travel to Allenby Street from Aliyah Street and to the center of Tel Aviv will have to take a different route. The bus lanes on Ben Zion Street and Rothschild Boulevard that go to King George Street will be used. As for the buses that run south in the opposite direction, they will take the Rothschild Boulevard or Yehuda Halevi Street, but the municipality has not made a decision about it.
It should be noted that even when the work is done, the Allenby Street will have to undergo major upgrading and renovations. This means that the bus routes will not return to it because it will be aimed at the light rail. Local real estate ventures and businesses will benefit from this eventually, but they will suffer until this happens.
However, no compensation would be provided to businesses along the street. The Ministry of Finance in Israel is against the compensation, but there will be exemptions granted to businesses from certain levies. According to the municipality, businesses would benefit in the long run from the public spaces that are enhanced. This has become evident in the case of the Jaffa Road in Jerusalem.
The work is scheduled to finish by the end of 2026, even though the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange has been notified that it will be completed by August 2027.