Posts tagged Transportation

Iran 1 – 0 Lebanon

A neat mountain road in Iran …

… and a bridge on the entrance of Beirut, the capital of Lebanon; notice the modern separators in the middle of the street:

Road to Beirut, Achrafieh Read the rest of this entry »

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A Bike Superhighway in Lebanon?

While the Lebanese are busy following their respective political colors, people in London opened 2 new “cycle superhighways” in the city. The Barclays Cycle Superhighways is planned to be completed in 2015, while some routes are expected to be finished by summer 2011 and October 2012.

Here is the map of the bike superhighways, compared to the map of Lebanon using the same scale:

The Barclays Cycle Superhighways map, superimposed on the map of Lebanon

Highlighted on the map: Byblos on the North, Baalbek on the East, Jiyeh on the South, and Beirut on the West
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A new bike trail in Beirut

Beirut inaugurated its first bike trail a few weeks ago.

Although it is a small loop inside the city, and that it is only opened for a few hours on Sundays, it is nevertheless a small step forward towards a green and sustainable transport mentality in the ‘my car is bigger than yours’ society, and a victory for the bikers in Lebanon.

According to The Daily Star, this bike lane covers Tripoli Street of the Beirut Souks and Patriarch Howayek Street.

Here is an illustrative map for those who have no clue where those streets are

Beirut Bike Trail Map

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Can you drive with the feet?

These idiots think he can

Drive with feet

Driving on the so-called highway in Jounieh

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Dubai Metro… a flop?

After 5 months of service, did the Dh28 billion (75% above the original estimates), one of the most advanced, longest automated driverless WiFi-enabled train system live up to the initial hype and fanfare?
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The world’s newest & most advanced metro aimed to join the league of megacities around the world, to ease the traffic problem, and to reduce road congestion and distances between key locations… Beyond its posh & mesmerizing design, did it meet these goals?
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On the positive side, the metro fare is affordable, and the surrounding of the metro stations (mainly malls) will flourish…
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On the other hand, the researchers and experts from around the world who have been working on the project since 1990, missed a key issue: that last mile connecting people from and to the stations:
Long walks in the desert heat is not the greatest ideas,
the 300 taxis assigned to support Dubai Metro network charge the regular fare (wasn’t the metro supposed to reduce the number of cars?),
and busses do not allow passengers that do not have a pre-paid card.
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Ssssekht!

It is both sad and frustrating to read such an article:

Desert-Eco-Revolution

It grows food in sand, powers homes and the sun and this year launches the world’s finest city-wide electric car system …

… Drivers will plug in their cars to recharge for several hours at home, work or at designated free car parks throughout the country … The electricity for the cars will come from solar technology being developed in the desert …

The praising article goes on:

… “we are smart because we know that we have to be to survive” … revolutionised the watering of agricultural crops more than 40 years ago … leading the way in a new technology that harnesses solar power for clean electricity production … One company was snapped up by the German industrial giant Siemens last year for more than $400 million … is developing a system to generate electricity from the pressure of traffic driving along roads…

But what about Lebanon? Here is where we stand: Read the rest of this entry »

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Affordable Apartments for Rent in Beirut

In really near suburbs you can find pretty cheap but still big enough apartments.

BadaroAin el Remmaneh for example is 5 or 10 minutes away from Ashrafieh, depending on where in this area you live (if there is a lot of traffic, it could take you 30 or 40 minutes depending on where you want go in Ashrafieh cause it is a big area).

Other than Ain el Remaneh, you have Badaro (slightly more expensive), Furn el Chebbak, Sin el Fil and Ras el Nabeh/Sodeco.

Those are the main areas surrounding Ashrafieh that are not considered to be inside the city but very very close suburbs with flats that are quite cheap
(pour te donner un petit exemple, tu peux facilement trouver un bon T1 bis ou T2 meublés à 300 euros)

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Beirut Critical Mass Bike Rides


Book cover for Critical Mass: Bicycling's Defiant Celebration Critical Mass bike rides take place monthly in cities around the world. They are free mass participatory events, with no leaders or fixed agendas. However, the broad aim is to celebrate cycling and sustainable transport, and to give cyclists safety in numbers. The Critical Mass Beirut, Lebanon take place on the last Saturday of every month, The first of which will be this Saturday October 31st. Meeting point in Sanayeh Park at 12pm. Credits: Picture

Sanayeh Park, in Beirut, Lebanon

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Beirut distributing free compact florescent light bulbs!

YAY for the city of Beirut! In an unprecedented initiative to reduce global warming (and electricity bills), and since the Beirut Municipality care about its citizens and about the environment, the municipality gave away free compact florescent light bulbs at all Beirut Library branches this Saturday between noon and 4 p.m. The bulbs are provided as part of City Light’s Twist & Save program.

Finally, the public servants are doing some real work for the salaries we pay them!

CFL-Giveaway

Here is an excerpt for a Dailystar article that covered the event:

Beirut – Mayor Abdel Mounim Ariss joined community and business leaders today to launch Beirut Climate Action Now, a grassroots campaign to encourage everyone in Beirut to reduce global warming pollution at home, on the road and in their neighborhoods.

Sponsored by the city of Beirut with the support of community groups & nonprofit organizations, Beirut Climate Action Now (www.beirutcan.org) will help people make smart choices to protect the city and the planet from the threat of climate change. Using online resources and community events, the public awareness campaign will connect people across the street and across the city make a difference for the future of our environment.

Compact_Fluorescent_Lightbulbs_(CFL)_#1

Beirut is working to reach that goal by providing clean, renewable energy through City Light; encouraging the construction of energy-efficient commercial and residential buildings, promoting the use of alternative fuels; and making it easier and safer to walk, bike and take transit.
A centerpiece of Beirut Climate Action Now is a new web site – www.beirutcan.org – that will make it easy for everyone to get involved. It features simple steps that people can take to cut carbon emissions that are causing global warming. The site’s calendar and homepage will be a clearinghouse for information about climate-related events and activities across the city.

The web site will also feature Zerofootprint Beirut, a first-of-its-kind climate-action planner that allows people to develop personalized actions plans for reducing their climate pollution. Zerofootprint Beirut also allows residents to see the effect of their actions individually, and it adds them up to show the community-wide benefit.

To good to be true?

Blog Action Day This blog post about the issue of climate change on October 15th is part of the Blog Action Day annual event.

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Dubai metro vs. Lebanon’s train

While all lights were directed to the new Metro in Dubai…

Suddenly, public transport is ‘cool’ for Arabs. Thank you Dubai. (360east)

Arabs are car crazed. This is one generalization that is safe to make.

And Arab elites, are big car crazed. That’s another generalization safe to make.

No wonder that public transport systems across the Arab world have not really evolved since the 1960s. Increasingly fueled by easy oil money, and increasingly alienated from the needs of the masses, the health of cities or the safety of the environment, ruling and economic elites have made Arab cities into car cities. From Beirut to Cairo, and from Amman to Riyadh, it’s cars, cars and more cars. Cars cool. Busses Bad.

But as the Sheikhs of Dubai rode the US 7.8 Billion Metro tonight at 9 pm 9.9.09, suddenly, modern public transport has become cool.

… I couldn’t but remember sadly that many many years ago, the working train in Lebanon connecting Beirut to Damascus, even to Istanbul, Baghdad (Iraq) and Hijaz, in Saudi Arabia.

Here are some stories and pictures found on the internet:

Al Mashriq has an article about the Middle East Railways:

In 1891 a French company obtained a concession to build a railway from Beirut to Damascus and this was soon merged with a Belgian project (CF en Sync) for a line to Muzeinib serving the rich grain area of the Hauran. Formed in Paris, the Societe des Chemins de fer Ottomans Economiques de Beyrouth-Damas-Hauran at first planned a metre gauge adhesion line but the difficulties involved in ascending the Lebanon range behind Beirut resulted in the adoption of the Abt rack system for part of the route.

The rack locomotive leaving the reversing station at Aley
en route for Bhamdoun, the next station up the line, 1974

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