In the past twenty years some of the major Israeli cities have literally been cut in two by major highways or railroad lines. We can see examples of this in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Haifa.
Tel Aviv is divided by the Ayalon Highway, along which the train line for Tel Aviv’s four train stations also runs. In Jerusalem the Begin Highway which runs from north to south also divides the city. In Haifa the divide is sorely felt. Instead of enjoying the fact that the city sits on the sea and has a major port, the national train line cuts the city off from both the port and the sea.
Recently, town planners for these cities have been exploring a possible solution to this problem.
The idea is to cover the highways and train tracks that divide the cities thereby putting these transport tools in a tunnel. On top of the new tunnel, parks and paths could be erected giving the city a nice green look and connecting its two sides.
Of course this solution is not without problems.
Plans have to be made to dispose of the car and train fumes in the tunnels, to meet the costs and work out the organization of such grand projects as well as taking into account the short term affects it will have on the inhabitants while the construction is going on.
However these projects, once implemented, can give cities much needed real estate.
A notable past example of such projects is Park Avenue in New York. As soon as the train line was taken out of the center of the Avenue, the prices of real estate on this street soared.
Another example of a young modern city where the planners foresaw this need is Modiin. The last station is underground, leaving the real estate above to be used by the city.
Think of how much the prices of the real estate adjoining these areas in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Haifa would be enhanced as a result.