Archive | Beirut

Beirut’s New Bike Lane is Just Impractical

It has been less than 10 days since the unveiling of Beirut’s first bike lane and it is already proving to be impractical, not only because drivers are unsurprisingly ignoring it, but also for the simple fact that it was set up on the left side of the road whereas bikers are obliged by traffic laws to ride on the right side of the road and on the bike lane where it exists. The result is an experience as the one you can see in the below video.

The problem lies in the fact that the lane seems to have been set up in a way not to disturb the valet parking guys who occupy the right lane day and night. You just can’t expect something to function correctly when you start it wrong… In my opinion, the municipality and Beirut by Bike are using this bike lane thing as a stunt to appear like they’re doing something for the city while they know beforehand that no one will make use of it, and best of all, it costs nothing to draw lines on the road!

We can barely fit cars in our street, let alone creating bike lanes, so in order to make that happen the municipality must first work on rehabilitating the roads, and in if it’s impossible then I think they better focus on improving something else and take proper credit for it.

video via Mohamad Cheblak

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Beirut Just Got Its First Bike Lane

In a public post on Facebook, Jawad Sbeity the owner of Beirut by Bike shared some photos from Waygand street showing the setup of the first bike lane in Beirut.

It wasn’t clear where exactly does the lane start and where does it end, nor the streets that will cover or when will it be finalized, nevertheless it’s definitely some good to those who take their bikes around the downtown.

However, the only and most important concern remains whether driver will acknowledge this bike lane or not. Waygand street gets quite busy during the day with some shops there have valet parking service and most of the time you find cars parked on the right lane which narrows the road… so whether you like it or not drivers will have no option but to drive over that bike lane especially during rush hour. Still, neither Sbeity nor the municipality can be blamed for that, but rather the lack of urban planning that should have provisioned wider streets around Beirut.

Anyway, let’s see how long will this lane live on!

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Why Are These Car-Mounted Laser Cameras Roaming Beirut?

Over the past 3 weeks, I have encountered cars with roof-mounted cameras like the one above three times around Beirut, twice in Bachoura and once in Tarik El Jadida.

At first I thought they were some new radar guns used by the ISF but then I got a closer look and noticed their brand (Yaan), so I googled it and figured they’re in fact laser high speed cameras.

I have absolutely no idea why these cars are roaming the streets of Beirut, and I’m honestly quite surprised no one made a fuss about it yet especially that it is forbidden to take photos around certain areas in the city. A friend suggested they might be collecting images for Google Street Views, but I doubt it since Google usually uses 360° camera like this one.

If you have any information about these cameras please do share it in the comments.

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Horsh Beirut Now Open To The Public All Weekdays

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Following the opening of Horsh Beirut to the public for once per week last year, Nahnoo announced last night on Facebook that a decision was taken for the pine park to be open to the public all weekdays as of June 6th 2016.

I’m not sure whether it was the governor of Beirut Ziad Chbib or the municipality who authorized it, but it’s definitely a much needed step to let people enjoy this beautiful green space. I just hope the municipality will allocate enough and adequate personnel to ensure the cleanliness and security of Horsh Beirut, otherwise I’m pretty sure it won’t take long until people ruin it.

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Horsh Beirut will be open from 7AM till 2PM on weekdays, and from 7AM till 7PM on weekends.

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