Planning Committee Delays Emek Refaim Light Rail Decision Indefinitely

For two years there has been a debate about whether the future blue line of the Jerusalem light rail should pass through Emek Refaim in the German Colony. The discourse was supposed to end today with a final decision by the Jerusalem Planning and Building Committee, which convened last month to weigh the benefits of the original plan and its alternatives. Now the resolution has been delayed indefinitely.

The request to hold off on the decision reportedly came at the behest of Yisrael Katz, who is rumored to be against routing the light rail through the historic Jerusalem neighborhood. Katz, who serves as Minister of Transportation, is also responsible for the perpetually delayed high-speed Jerusalem-Tel Aviv rail line.

The committee received a recommendation to implement the original plan by the Jerusalem Transportation team last week. It is unknown whether the committee intended to support the recommendation or not, but the timing of Katz’s request doesn’t leave much opening for interpretation.

It is now unknown when a final decision will be made about the Emek Refaim light rail, which remains the only portion of the blue line that has yet to obtain approval.

(Header Photo by Moshe Milner Copyright © 2018 National Photo Collection)

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