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Author Topic: Roads and highways in Israel  (Read 18529 times)

Chris

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Roads and highways in Israel
« on: July 11, 2009, 11:14:08 AM »

Israel posesses an expansive freeway network around Tel Aviv (Gush Dan metropolitan area), but other areas of Israel have very few freeways, only Highway 1 is a freeway to Jerusalem and Highway 2 runs to Haifa. Highway 6 runs north-south through the center of the country, bypassing Tel Aviv.

Most Tel Aviv freeways have 6 to 8 lanes, and are frequently congested, especially the Ayalon highway which runs through the city center (Ramat Gan).

The Israeli road numbering system makes no difference between freeways, expressways or regular roads, but freeways have a blue road number, where 1 and 2 digit regular roads have a red background, and 3 digit roads have a green background. Some 3-digit roads are up to freeway standards, such as route 404, 431, 471 and 531. There are also 4-digit road numbers, but those are only of local importance and often only a few kilometers long.
The road numbers are layed in a grid, even numbers run north south, increasing from west to east. odd numbers run east-west, increasing from south to north. The road numbering system also applies in areas of the West Bank and Golan that are controlled by Israel (thus the Israeli road administration), but there are no Israeli road numbers in Palestinian controlled areas of the West Bank and all of the Gaza strip. There are no freeways in the West Bank, but there are a number of 4-lane divided expressways, such as route 1, 5 and 404.

Israel has several border crossings, but except for Egypt and Jordan, they are closed with other countries. The UN maintains buffer zones between Israel and Libanon / Syria. Some border crossings to these countries are controlled by UN, but not open to civilians or tourists. That said, it's impossible to enter Israel from Europe over land. You have to ship your car to Haifa, or fly there and rent a car.

Israeli roads and signage are a mix of European and American signs, for instance, yellow edge markings are used, as are "exit only" signage. The font seems to be Highway Gothic, and signs are often in three languages; Hebrew, Arabic and English. Freeways have blue signage, other roads have green or white signage. Road signs are similar to those used in Europe, except perhaps for the camel sign, which warns for camels on the road, which obviously doesn't happen in Europe. There are yellow warning signs, which are also in the three languages mentioned.

Israel has one toll road, highway 6 which runs north-south through the center of the country. There are no toll plaza's, you can use transponders or a pic of your license plate is taken, and you are billed every month. People who use transponders have 40 - 80% discount.

It's common to have railway lines and stations in the median of freeways in the Tel Aviv area. Due to population growth, new freeways are constantly constructed, and existing ones are widened.
« Last Edit: July 11, 2009, 11:17:18 AM by Chris »
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Chris

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Re: Roads and highways in Israel
« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2009, 11:14:19 AM »

Highway 20: Ayalon freeway - נתיבי איילון

route:


pics from Google Earth:

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agentsteel53

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Re: Roads and highways in Israel
« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2009, 12:43:59 PM »

great stuff!  I enjoyed seeing that  :sombrero:

The Roman-alphabet font is not Highway Gothic.  Looks closer to Arial to me, but isn't quite that either.  I don't know if it is an otherwise used font, or an Israeli custom job.  The extra wide kerning is throwing me off a bit too.
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J N Winkler

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Re: Roads and highways in Israel
« Reply #3 on: July 13, 2009, 08:41:23 AM »

The Roman-alphabet font is not Highway Gothic.  Looks closer to Arial to me, but isn't quite that either.  I don't know if it is an otherwise used font, or an Israeli custom job.  The extra wide kerning is throwing me off a bit too.

The Israeli Ministry of Transport is said to be changing over to Clearview for legends in the Latin alphabet and in fact drawings are available (in Hebrew!) on their website, but I haven't seen much photographic evidence yet that Clearview is being used.  Not all signs are uniformly trilingual, although they tend to be in the areas heavily frequented by tourists.  There is provision for signs in English and Hebrew only, and Hebrew and Arabic only.
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Chris

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Re: Roads and highways in Israel
« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2009, 08:44:37 AM »

^^

This is one of their newest freeways:

pctech

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Re: Roads and highways in Israel
« Reply #5 on: June 14, 2012, 02:24:19 PM »

Why are the exits signs in green? and through route signs in blue? Is it for that very reason?

Mark
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Scott5114

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Re: Roads and highways in Israel
« Reply #6 on: June 28, 2012, 11:28:38 PM »

great stuff!  I enjoyed seeing that  :sombrero:

The Roman-alphabet font is not Highway Gothic.  Looks closer to Arial to me, but isn't quite that either.  I don't know if it is an otherwise used font, or an Israeli custom job.  The extra wide kerning is throwing me off a bit too.

It's a widely-kerned Helvetica. (Easiest way to tell Helvetica from Arial is the "R": Arial's drops down from the middle of the bowl at a slope, Helvetica's curves out from the end of the bowl and is more vertical.)
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nexus73

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Re: Roads and highways in Israel
« Reply #7 on: June 28, 2012, 11:50:53 PM »

Build a freeway to Megiddo and there's your road to the Apocalypse...LOL!  I wonder how long a Bugatti Veyron would take to drive the length of Israel if 6 was empty?  It's such a tiny country.  Driving there must be similar to being on an island.

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Re: Roads and highways in Israel
« Reply #8 on: July 02, 2012, 11:19:11 AM »

The blue overhead signs are very reminiscent of the German autobahn. I assume the green ones are reserved for trunk roads, not unlike Britain, although those signs are usually also blue on the motorways.
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austrini

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Re: Roads and highways in Israel
« Reply #9 on: August 24, 2012, 08:21:26 PM »

I bet they're blue because of the British colonial times, and I'd guess that's why the license plates are Yellow and black, too (maybe?)
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J N Winkler

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Re: Roads and highways in Israel
« Reply #10 on: August 24, 2012, 08:36:46 PM »

My interpretation:  each part of the diaspora contributed.

It is possible the Israelis looked first to the British when designing their direction signing system, and some features--such as interchange name panels at the tops of advance guide signs and destinations on lane assignment signs--appear to have been borrowed directly from Britain.  However, the color coding itself can't be a relic of Mandate times since Israel became independent in 1948 and the British did not start using color-coded direction signs until 1958 (blue, for the motorways) and 1965 (green and white respectively for primary and non-primary routes).  Like the French but unlike the British (and, for that matter, the Germans), the Israelis use the color code of the interchanging roadway for the exit direction sign, not the color code of the road being exited.  The arrow designs and the use of yellow bottom panels for lane drops seem American-influenced.  As noted upthread, the positioning of route cartouches is very German.
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ljwestmcsd

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Re: Roads and highways in Israel
« Reply #11 on: August 24, 2012, 10:43:43 PM »

I bet they're blue because of the British colonial times, and I'd guess that's why the license plates are Yellow and black, too (maybe?)

If they do things based on British colonialism, then why do they drive on the right?
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austrini

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Re: Roads and highways in Israel
« Reply #12 on: August 24, 2012, 11:04:31 PM »

The middle east drives on the right because of the Ottoman Empire, but I'd figure modern signage and markings came after the decision on what side of the road to drive on - right in the British colonial period.
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J N Winkler

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Re: Roads and highways in Israel
« Reply #13 on: August 24, 2012, 11:23:10 PM »

The middle east drives on the right because of the Ottoman Empire, but I'd figure modern signage and markings came after the decision on what side of the road to drive on - right in the British colonial period.

"After" is probably correct only if you mean "long after."  The signs used in Israel now look nothing like the signs used in Britain in the 1920's and 1930's, which would have been the logical model for Mandate Palestine:  as regards direction signs these would have been fingerposts and simple diagrammatics, all with black letters on white background.
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Re: Roads and highways in Israel
« Reply #14 on: September 24, 2023, 01:23:50 AM »

I'm about to head to Israel for a week. I'm aware to avoid tolls on Highway 6 and the Carmel tunnels, and I'm aware to stay in "Zone A" if I'm in the West Bank. So, besides that: Does anyone have any input on things to see from a road perspective, or anything I should look for as I ride?

 


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