Earlier yesterday, LiveLoveBeirut shared a picture of a Red Bull F1 car spotted spinning in Beirut. The picture was actually taken from a Red Bull Showrun in Lima, Peru and it was just a teaser for the live F1 Showrun that is taking place in Beirut on Sunday May 22nd.
You heard me right! Beirut’s F1 Showrun is happening soon and it’s gonna be awesome! I’m a huge F1 fan so this is very exciting news for myself and all F1 and motorsports fanatics in Lebanon. F1 driver Carlos Sainz Jr, son of rally legend Carlos Sainz, will take Red Bull Racing’s RB12 F1 car on a “tour”, starting from the Wafiq Senno Street, through the Meer Majid Arslan Street, all the way to Ahmed Daouk Street.
If I’m not mistaken, this road was actually part of the Beirut F1 Grand Prix that was suggested back in 1999 (I’m still trying to get my hands on the Beirut F1 track design). Back then, we lost the bid mainly due to political reasons but I’m still hopeful that we will get a city track one day in Beirut.
Everyone will be invited to see the F1 car doing speed stretches, burnouts, donuts, and of course hear the awesome engine sounds (even though the old F1 engine sounds were much better) along the one-kilometer track.
Check out the [promotion] and stay tuned for further info.
For those asking me about what happened at CityMall yesterday, the parking rage video that Yasa shared is fake and did not even take place in Lebanon (probably in Brazil). The parking lot doesn’t look like CityMall, the car plates don’t look Lebanese and the video is at least 2 years old.
Yasa should remove that video or at least clarify that it’s not in Lebanon. On another note, why is the guy filming the whole thing holding his camera the wrong way? Unacceptable 😛
I spotted a highway led display board installed at the exit of Nahr el Kalb tunnel towards Beirut. The board said “Lebanese Traffic Management at your service”. There’s another LED board being installed on the Dora highway at the Forum de Beyrouth.
There’s always traffic at this point so I’m not sure they will be of any help. If anything they should get a bigger screen and show a couple of Friends or Seinfeld episodes every morning to entertain us while stuck in traffic lol!
Nevertheless, it’s still a good idea. Let’s just hope they are properly powered and installed.
PS: Nahr el Kalb – Dbayyeh road desperately needs a pedestrian bridge.
Ken Block revealed yesterday the 8th installment of Gymkhana which was shot in Dubai. I was there when Block was shooting the Gymkhana and I even got to meet him during the unveiling of Ford’s all-new GT supercar at the Dubai Motor Show.
Gymkhana 8 is amazing and has everything you want to see in Dubai. I loved the donuts around the fleet of super-police cars and underneath the plane, the drag race with a Veyron, Ferrari F12, Lexus LFA and Lamborghini Aventador and the tricks he pulled on Sheikh Zayed road with the huge Ford Raptor SVT (I love that truck!).
My favorite Gymkhana is still though the Los Angeles one where Block drove a monstrous 845 HP All-wheel drive 1965 Ford Mustang. Now what would be awesome is to have a Gymkhana Beirut edition. I know it’s a long shot but our roads are ideal for a Gymkhana, from the city to the mountains. If Block needs an extra special reason to come here, We can even ask the cops to drift along Block with their Chargers, how cool would that be? 😛
I stopped going to the Mecanique years ago after hearing the horror stories of waiting for 4+ hours in line added to the fact that there’s wasta everywhere. More importantly, cars are not inspected properly and we can clearly see that from all these half-wrecked vehicles with barely any lights and a missing door that shouldn’t be allowed on the road.
This year, my friend went to have his car checked but it failed because one of the tires, so he bribed one of the guys there and his car passed. I told him he should have filmed the whole thing. Luckily enough, MTV went there and filmed how the bribes happen.
By the way, don’t ever try to fix your car in the garages outside the Mecanique in Hadath because most of them will rip you off or ruin your car. Some might even charge u ridiculous amounts for changing ur brakes and threaten you if you don’t pay.
Update: the demo was cancelled as the cabinet has approved the construction of a U-shaped bridge on the Jal el-Dib highway.
It’s been three years now that the Jal el Dib bridge got dismantled and there are still no plans to build a new one. Jal el Dib Residents still want a new bridge and they are going back to the streets to protest tomorrow at 6PM. To be honest, I think they have every right to demand a new bridge and they’ve been suffering for 3 years now but blocking roads at 6PM on a Thursday is disastrous and people will start cursing them instead of supporting them.
I recommend you stay in Beirut and enjoy happy hour in Mar Mikhael or Uruguay street till the protest is over.
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