I was running late two days ago and the Dbayyeh maritime road was jammed so I thought of taking the highway but it turned out to be much worse so I tried to take back the maritime road near Golden Beach hotel. Unfortunately, the small road that takes you back to the maritime road was closed so I had to go backwards or take the inside roads of Antelias and get stuck there forever.
As I was stuck there wondering what to do, some guy was standing in front of the Golden Beach underground parking and letting cars in for some reason, and the policeman wouldn’t let me go back so I had no choice but to go in as well and took the “wasta shortcut” road by mistake. It looks like one of those roads that criminals use to smuggle things but it did the trick and saved me 30 minutes of morning traffic lol!
What I also found out about is that we have a new “Super wasta road”, or what I call “3aj2a maker” for army men and the ISF which I highlighted in orange. I’ve been begging the ISF on Twitter for months to close down these roads because they cause more traffic but we got an extra one instead. Most of our traffic problems in Lebanon are due to these small shortcuts and tiny roads, and people who overtake and create new lanes, yet no one wants to tackle this problem.
A 1968 USSR Study for establishing a metro in Beirut was shared few days ago by Nabil Nakkash, A Lebanese Transport Systems Engineer. The hand-drawn graphics show clearly the suggested metro lines for the city including typical cross sections, ridership numbers as well as the estimated cost (250-280 Million USD).
Of course a lot of Lebanese don’t believe that it’s possible to set up a metro in Beirut with the lack of urban planning and the poor infrastructure and road network but I agree with Nakkash here that “engineering is never the problem with such projects”. Our problem here is with the corrupt political class and the incompetent ministries.
I shared a couple of pictures but I highly recommend you check out the full article [here] as it contains tons of graphics and more info.
PS: I cannot confirm the authenticity of this study entitled “The evaluation of the possibility and necessity of the organization of the metropolitan (METRO) for the city of Beirut” as this is the first time I hear about it but it looks genuine to me. While looking online, I found two other studies related to urban planning in Beirut, a study done in the 1980s that includes a metro network and another by French architect and urban planner Michel Ecochard back in the 1960s. Apparently, Ecochard worked on the first ever master plan for Beirut.
The road conditions are bad tonight as the storm has just kicked in and it’s raining everywhere, so I urge everyone to drive carefully if they are headed to the mountains and to avoid driving after the party especially if they’ve been drinking.
Let’s try to make this NYE an accident-free night and forbid anyone from driving back home if their car is not equipped for slippery roads or if they are under the influence of alcohol. It’s very easy to call a cab or order an Uber these days so let’s make good use of it.
Unfortunately there are no free-taxi initiatives this year, or at least none that I heard of but that’s not an excuse not to call a cab if you can’t drive back. “ما تكون بلا راس السنة” and take a taxi if you must wou 3a 2bel ma nchoufak bil 2016!
Happy New Year Everyone!
I reproduced this poster from Almaza from last year and replaced 2015 with 2016
Meeting Ken Block and the unveiling of Ford’s all-new GT supercar at the Dubai Motor Show were the highlight of my trip to Dubai earlier this month. It was my first time at the Dubai Motor Show and I would definitely come back a second time. The whole experience with Ford & Lincoln was great, the events were pretty awesome and well-organized, the team was very helpful and the Dubai Motor Show has all the cool and newest cars you could think of.
Going back to meeting Block, I’m a big fan of Ken Block’s Gymkhanas as they keep getting better and better. In the most recent one, Block was driving a monstrous 845 HP All-wheel drive 1965 Ford Mustang in the streets of Los Angeles and the video was insane! I’m hoping that I will go for a drift with him one day or experience how a Gymkhana is being filmed. He’s a cool and down to earth guy by the way.
I met Block briefly before the reveal of Ford’s all-new GT supercar which was one of the most anticipated cars at the 2015 Dubai Motor Show. The super-car is powered by a 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 with up to 700 HP. Ford is planning to take the GT to next year’s Le Mans race to mark the 50th anniversary of Ford GT race cars placing 1-2-3 at the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans, and they’re hoping to dominate the sport just like they did in the late 1960s.
Here’s a list of my favorite cars from the 2015 Dubai Motor Show, starting with the Ford GT of course!
The Fenyr Supersport is W Motor’s second supercar and it looks really promising. I’m eager to see it perform on a track.
The “Traffic” feature on Google Maps shows current traffic conditions on highways and roads but it is not available in Lebanon and several other countries. I always thought that Google didn’t have enough data to activate this feature but that’s not the case apparently. In fact, Google has enough data as it uses crowd-sourcing from people driving around and sharing their location, pretty much like Tari2ak works, and my friend Rita el Khoury figured out a work-around to activate Traffic view in Beirut.
Here’s what you need to do:
1- Open Google Maps. If you try to activate Traffic in the left menu for Lebanon, you won’t be able to.
2- Scroll to a nearby country (like Turkey or KSA for example), where Google Traffic is available and activate it.
3- Once you see the colored roads, move back to Beirut et voila! You will have Google Traffic for Lebanon.
I tried it this morning and it was pretty accurate and useful.
What’s great about this work around is that it will keep on working even if you exit Google Maps or restart the device. However if you try to click on the Traffic option while over Lebanon it will stop.
PS: If your Google account is not set up for Lebanon, you can activate it directly and it should work. My friend just tried it.
All the Lebanese drivers were wearing seat belts, driving carefully and not using their mobiles yesterday all because of a voice note that was sent to some guy called Maurice. No one knows if it’s a joke or not, but somehow everyone believed the story and became a better driver.
Maybe that’s what we need to make the new traffic law work, a new Maurice every week.
Here’s the original voice note:
And the one that followed:
And one of the many hilarious voice notes that followed:
Someone also shared a traffic fine addressed to Maurice lol!
The Fenyr Supersport won’t be as exclusive as its predecessor as 25 units will be produced and the price tag will be around $1.6 million but that’s not confirmed yet. The car is powered with a twin-turbo 4.0-liter flat six-cylinder engine and develops almost 900 horsepower (vs 770 hp for Lykan). The Fenyr Supersport can get from 0 to 100 in 2.7 seconds (vs 2.8 seconds for the Lykan) and has a top speed exceeding 400km/h or 248 mph (vs 245 mph for the Lykan). The whole car-body “is crafted out of carbon fiber and complemented by a tubular light-weight aluminium chassis”.
The Fenyr looks awesome but I hope we will get to see it perform on a track, unlike the Lykan Hypersport which we’ve only seen in pictures and flying through buildings in the last Fast & Furious movie.
Here’s how the Fenyr compares to other super-cars:
Fenyr Supersport: V6 4.0 liter 900hp 0 -100: 2.7s top speed: 400 kph LaFerrari: V12 6.3 litres 963hp 0-100: Less than 3s top speed: 350 kph Bugatti Veyron: W16 8.0 litres 1,001hp 0-100: 2.7s top speed: 407 kph Lamborghini Veneno Roadster: V12 750hp 0-60: 2.9s Top Speed: 355 kph
Here are few exclusive shots that I took at the Dubai Motor Show yesterday right after the official unveiling. The interior wasn’t revealed yet by the way.
And this is a picture of the old Lykan, the closest thing to the Batmobile.
I just landed in Dubai and I’m here to attend the 2015 Dubai International Motor Show. I’m here with the Ford & Lincoln team and I’m looking forward to another exciting experience. This is my second trip with Ford and I love how professional and well organized these people are. Last year, the 50th anniversary of the Ford Mustang was a phenomenal event and I enjoyed every bit of it, especially going up to the 112th floor on Burj Khalifa to see the new Mustang.
I’m here till Wednesday and I’ll be posting daily updates about the Motor Show and my trip. You can follow me on Instagram [@LeNajib], Twitter [@LeNajib] and Facebook of course [BlogBaladi]. I’m also on Snapchat [LeNajib] but I still don’t see the point from using Snapchat so don’t expect many updates there.
As soon as it starts to rain, roads are flooded with water (and garbage recently) in Lebanon and open manholes are no longer visible to drivers and pedestrians. Open manholes pose serious threat to commuters and the concerned parties (Ministry of Public Works and Municipality) rarely work on closing them during storms or at least putting warning signs around them.
Of course we as citizens can help prevent painful incidents by closing down these open manholes when possible and that’s what this guy did today. However I advise you to be careful when closing manholes and watch out for reckless drivers.
I don’t think we need to compare stats between this year and the previous one to realize that the new traffic law, whose implementation started back in April, is no longer working. In fact, ever since I got fined for using my phone, which I insist I wasn’t, I haven’t seen a single cop on that same road. Moreover, I’m seeing more and more people use their phone while driving, as well as others driving recklessly, going the wrong way, parking illegally etc …
To make things worse, police officers and army men are still breaking the law without being punished. The other day on the Dbayyeh maritime road, I spotted an army man driving recklessly while talking on the phone and without the seat belt on, as well as a police officer driving the wrong way on a scooter without any helmet on.
In terms of numbers, Yasa confirmed back in August that the number of accidents decreased dramatically during the first two months (April & May) but then the numbers started increasing gradually. I looked up the stats per month that Kunhadi published (taken from ISF) and they surprisingly show that the number of crashes have significantly decreased this year but the number of fatalities didn’t change much. However, if you look at the Lebanese Red Cross numbers (August 2014 vs August 2015), you will notice that the numbers are very similar.
Another Failed Attempt?
Some people may argue that the new law needs time to be applied properly but I think the reasons why it’s not working are very clear and I’ve raised them already before:
– Policemen are still breaking the law and should be punished more severely when they do so as they are role models for others to follow.
– People are using wasta to remove the fines.
– The idea from the new traffic law should be to help people become aware of the traffic law and care about their own safety, not just fine them and send the money elsewhere.
– Lebanese should know that the fines they are paying are going somewhere to improve the infrastructure.
– The law is being applied in specific areas.
I once proposed an idea to help implement the new traffic law, stop Wasta and fix roads and I’m sure there are other ways to make this law work but it doesn’t look like anyone is interested in doing so.