The task of driving across the West Bank has historically been relatively difficult for Palestinians. Drivers had to guess which direction to travel at unmarked intersections and would often have to stop to ask the local population for assistance. The lack of road signs also became a safety issue. When drivers were faced with a fork in the road, a moment of indecision could easily cause an accident.
In response to this, the USAID-funded Palestinian Authority Capacity Enhancement project
worked with the Ministry of Public Works and Housing and selected sites across the West Bank that needed directional road signs. The project worked to install 210 school zone signs, warning drivers of their proximity to children.
“The signs are excellent. Unlike in the past, now you know what village you are going to, and what village you are in,” said Mohammed Afan, a resident of Birzeit.
Installation of the directional road signs is only a small part of USAID’s work with the Palestinian Authority to improve road safety in the West Bank. Other activities include the establishment of road maintenance crews to repair pot holes and a traffic safety campaign to promote safe driving. The combination of increased road safety, improved driving conditions, and overall enhanced road conditions is providing all drivers in the West Bank with a more efficient, safer, and more pleasant driving experience.