Site of the Forum of Organizations for Jerusalem Forest
Road 16 is planned as a new entrance to Jerusalem. It branches out from the main Tel-Aviv -- Jerusalem road at Motza, and ends between Sha'arei Tzedek Hospital and Begin Road.
The current plan calls for the construction of two tunnels and a couple of interchanges. The first interchange is at Motza. The road then enters a tunnel under the Har Nof neighborhood, and exits at Nahal Revida: the valley that runs between Har Nof on one side and Beit-Hakerem / Yefe Nof on the other. In Nahal Revida a massive interchange is planned, connecting to a broad road that will go up to Givat Sha'ul. Then the road is planned to go into a second tunnel, under Yefe Nof and Sha'arei Tzedek, finally connecting to Begin road near Givat Mordechai.
The plan is being discussed in the National Infrastructure Committee. The last meeting about it was held on 28 May 2007. The decision was to move ahead with the plan, but subject to a re-evaluation of the economic justification.
The damage to Jerusalem Forest is not caused so much by Road 16, as by the interchange in Nahal Revida. We therefore do not take a stand regarding road 16. We only oppose the interchange, which will destroy much of what is left of the forest. Without the interchange, Road 16 can be constructed in a single continuous tunnel that passes under Nahal Revida. This will prevent any further damage to the forest.
The rationale behind the interchange is the desire to improve access to Givat Sha'ul. We claim that there are many alternatives that can provide adequate access to Givat Sha'ul, including improved public transport based on the newly constructed light railway, and better access via Sakharov Gardens.
The heart of the matter is trading off the claimed advantages of the interchange and the damage it will cause to the forest. We claim that there are alternatives for access to Givat Sha'ul, but there are no alternatives to the Jerusalem Forest.
Therefore, if you accept that Road 16 should be built, it should be done in one continuous tunnel without harming the forest.