Yalla 3al batata yalla 3al intikhabet: The Fouad Boutros Highway

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If you are an avid blog follower or just a facebook regular, then you have probably heard of the Fouad Boutros Highway; a project which has recently been given the green light to rip the heart of Beirut to pieces, literally.

If you are an avid blog follower or just a facebook regular, then you have probably heard of the Fouad Boutros Highway; a project which has recently been given the green light to rip the heart of Beirut to pieces, literally.

By: , editor/blogger for LBCI Online English News and LBCBlogs. She received her Honors in Communication Arts (Media Production) from The University of Western Sydney in 2008.

7 Comments add one

  1. Rabih Nassar says:

    Excellent article! It is indeed shocking to see that a project designed 50 years ago will be executed today, when the number of cars has increased by not-sure-how-many-fold…

    However, traffic is a real issue in Ashrafieh and Beirut in general. Since in any case we’re doing the government’s work, would it strengthen our case to come up with alternatives and solutions? How can we put enough pressure on the Beirut municipality – or whoever is in charge or regulating traffic – to force them and address the problem seriously? (No trucks on the roads between 6am and 10pm, for example)

    How can we make sure that the project will not be executed with no consequences on the shareholders, and avoid another “venus towers” scandal?

    • lbcblog says:

      What you are saying is absolutely correct Rabih, hence why the SBH group is fighting this project using scientific, impact studies as opposed to just “shouting in the face of authorities”. They have confirmed that they will also be fighting the project legally. Let’s hope they win it. As for your proposals, SBH is also on it in terms of presenting “better, cheaper” solutions to the traffic problem in Achrafieh. Please note however, the residents of the areas will not have access to the Highway as detailed in the article.

  2. Ahmad Jamal El-Merabi says:

    While I am in the U.S., my heart is with you in this effort. I wish you the very best, including all these people centric organizations who do everything they can to protect our country from the selfish financial interests that are ruining it. Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results; we keep electing the same families and power circles and they keep tearing Lebanon apart and we expect something different and beneficial from them every election. We are the dummies not them.

    • lbcblog says:

      Yes Einstein did say it best, however I beg to differ on one issue, its not that ‘we’ are dummies, in my opinion we are ‘hostages’ of the clan system, no more no less.

  3. Rabih Nassar says:

    calling us “hostages” would really exonerate us from any wrongdoing… I don’t think we deserve that…

  4. Jad says:

    We need to shift the critique from one of architectural heritage (which is important, or course) to that of transport policy. The bottom line is that this highway — or any new highway — will NOT reduce traffic. It may ease congestion temporarily, but with nothing to limit the use of cars and with no public transport system that could attract car owners, any new highway will eventually be congested too. This is known is what transport engineers call the Iron Law of Congestion.

    But don’t take my word for it. As early as December 2010, transport engineers taking part in Public Transport, Public Concern (see here ) were saying the same thing. I urge everyone concerned about this project to speak with the people mentioned here to get a TRANSPORT perspective on this “civil engineering” nightmare.

    Also, I urge reporters to contact the Director General of Land and Maritime Transport at the Ministry of Public Works & Transportation — what does he have to say about this? I have a feeling that he too would agree that the solution to our traffic problems cannot be more road construction, but must begin with more public transport.

    This project cannot go forward. We mustn’t sacrifice what little walkable space we have left for an illusion of ‘better connectivity.’

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