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What Do Roads Say About Borders and Politics?

A video from Al Jazeera English shows a disparity in the length of travel time Palestinians living in the West Bank and Israeli settlers experience when entering Jerusalem, the city on the border of the West Bank and Israel.

There are a number of factors that come into play when analyzing the mobility of communities on one side of a border versus those on another.  Infrastructure for transportation is dependent on government funding, business development, security issues, civil society, and populations’ access to personal transportation. It is no surprise to see the stark contrast between the two territories.

Such disparities exist along other borders, too; this one takes place in what many people believe to be the holiest city in the world.  Nonetheless, it is an interesting look at how religious and political tensions impact roads and lead to disparities in how people in two adjacent communities get to the same place.

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  • Politics it is, a lot of it is also the balance of power. Palestine is not even recognized as a country, is striving to prosper economically and on the other hand, Israel is more prosperous and is a very strong US ally. If Palestine starts attracting foreign investment, has strong international ties, things would certainly change even if the politics between these two territories remain the same.

    Just my opinion, please feel free to correct me, am open to refuting it.

  • It would be interesting to look at the San Diego – Tiajuana border. SANDAG keeps border crossing data. See http://www.sandag.org/index.asp?classid=19&fuseaction=home.classhome. And from FHWA see http://www.borderplanning.fhwa.dot.gov/resources.asp.