TRAFFIC JAM: A number of vehicles so obstructed that they can scarcely move…..
Indeed this is our daily struggle every single day of the week at any given time.
Why? Well I have some pretty clear ideas for the cause of this commotion and i’m sure you won’t contradict me when i’ll enumerate them within this post.
First of all let us briefly remind ourselves how our country struggled a 30 year old civil war and came out of it not only wounded but battered and comatosed. Not only were the institutions shattered (literally) but the regulations and civil rights non-existent. The roads were damaged, literally no sign posts or what we usually witness abroad, light posts. I remember clearly when how two decades ago the road parallel to where I lived was actually not a road, it was sandy and cars used to drive by it left and right, up and down without anyone every mentioning or following a set of precise rule. Nowadays that sandy road has been replaced by two line opposite tracks along side tall, modern buildings (even though there are no space left, new buildings are still emerging to my utter amazement…go figure especially that they cost within millions of dollars and no buyers are seen within a hundred miles from them…).
Hence, let us blame the civil war for the disappearance of this basic infrastructure. However that does not mean that their emergence back into society,which was only seriously established a few years earlier (took a time though from 1992 till the break of the 21 th century, don’t you think?) should not be obeyed and driven by car passers and pedestrians.
How many of you have witnessed roads being piled up by construction machines and bulldozers for some excavation which no lebanese have ever understood its purpose? And ironically every couple of years these excavations being at the same site for the same construction? i have always wanted to write to whomever is responsible or just the local newspaper about this enquiry as I am sure is the voice for the 3/4 lebanese living in the city of Beirut only. Just remember me next time you witness this mayhem on Verdun street and the traffic that it will generate along it. These excavations aggravate the already established “Traffic” Culture we have in Lebanon. It generates stress within the drivers, no policemen are seen in sight to help with the circulation, and worst they always occur at the start of the winter time!! I mean come on, why would any sane person want to work on the roads when the weather is threatening it with showers (see last article about the subject) and most importantly when schools are back and rush hours are known to be in the morning and during the end of school term? Another logic I tend to find illogical!!!
On some other hand, let me enlighten you about something.
In lebanon most people have bought their driving license (me included) but I have noticed that most of them should not have a car at their reach, worse they should be banned from driving (not me though, I am a good driver, ask around). By giving out driving licenses randomly to people who have the cash and the basic know-how to drive not only threatens whoever will be placed at reach of that driver but will expose a somewhat corrupt institution as well. Most ill-fated drivers are women and half of them own a “bought-up” license. Furthermore, elderly drivers (especially the taxi/service drivers) are the second most dangerous drivers on the roads in Lebanon. I believe that at some certain point in time, people should re-take their driving license tests again so as to ensure a safe “road trip” to our citizens. Now honestly don’t you agree with me?
Haha you know what’s funny? Lebanon has been blessed with what is called public transportation. Those huge and average sized buses who transport people from one place to another for a nickel yet who does not obey to the rule it has been set to follow. How many of you suddenly stopped abruptly behind a bus because the driver decided to pick up a fellow waving at him on the side of the road (just like the famous taxi cabs)? and honestly, how many of you do know the itinerary of those public transportation? Are they reliable? Is there a place someone can inquire about the route every specific bus number takes? Ummm well at least their presence is good for those who are unfortunate enough not to have a car.
Last but not least, my final shout goes to the banking sector.
Yes I know you have every right to aggressively penetrate the car market. Yes you want to give out car loans for those who are not fortunate enough to buy their cars straight from the car dealer but however have you ever considered that you are mostly contributing to this “traffic” threat? When you give out car loans incessantly to anyone who meets the requirements you are adding another person, another car on the roads of Beirut. Has Lebanon not have sufficient CO2 floating through its air?
Next time you are leaving work and heading home after a long day of exhaustion and hard work giving out loans, please look at the car driver next to you and ask yourself, instead of cursing the traffic rush-hour, did I contribute to this mayhem by accepting his or her car loan?
Isn’t ironic? Don’t you think???