Fast Forward launches the “Darreja” Campaign for alternative sustainable transportation in cooperation with IndyACT
Beirut – 12 June, 2010: In cooperation with IndyACT, the League of Independent Activists, Fast Forward has launched, through “Darreja”, its campaign for alternative, sustainable transportation in Lebanon.
This campaign was born from the mobilization of a group of young individuals who would like to have the choice of using alternative and environmentally friendly means of transportation ranging from public means of transportation such as buses and tramways to non-motorized vehicles such as bicycles.
More than 150 activists pedaled across the Lebanese capital on Saturday, cutting off traffic along a scenic seaside road to demand bicycle paths and eco-friendly means of transportation.
"Participation in this event reflects the desire for a swift and conclusive solution for the traffic and pollution problems," said Lily Abi Chahine, an organizer of the "Darreja" campaign funded by the Dutch embassy in Beirut.
Would you like improved public and alternative transport in Lebanon?
In most cities around the world, people have a choice in how to get around - walking, bicycling, driving, or taking the bus, tram, train, or metro.
We Lebanese love to brag that we’re the greatest in the world in just about everything, but to be completely honest, our transportation system could really use some help - some of YOUR help!
Click here to download the poster.
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 (....) Read more: Armigatus
Critical Mass Beirut is the last Saturday of every month at 12pm meeting at Sanayeh Park.
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.
A rather grim forecast did not deter a group of cyclists from hitting Beirut’s hectic streets at noon last Saturday. To their delight, the skies did eventually clear during their two-hour venture – a happening many participants cheekily claimed was just for them.
While bicycling remains a rare phenomenon in Lebanon, these enthusiasts hope to inspire change. A steadily-growing number of participants meet up each month at Hamra’s Sanayeh Park for rides through the nation’s capital as part of a worldwide movement known as Critical Mass rides.
Jonas Stourup made sure to strap on his helmet before doing what few in Lebanon would dare to try—biking in Beirut. “You can’t be a bike messenger unless you believe a little bit that you’re invincible,” Stourup said. “Basically you cant believe in dying and be a bike messenger full time.”
Stourup made the journey from Denmark to Beirut last Thursday to begin a week-long initiative by the Danish Embassy to promote a greener economy in Lebanon. Staring today, the 23-year old biker will make all deliveries to and from the embassy using only his set of wheels.
The Beirut municipality and the French Agency for Development have signed on Monday a 350.000 Euros financing agreement for the urban development of the city. This agreement, which is part of the cooperation between Region Ile de France and Beirut Municipality for the urban development of the city, will focus on the construction of a pedestrian area and a special lane for cyclists.
Critical Mass bike rides are a monthly celebration of bike culture in more than 300 cities across the world, in some cases regularly attracting thousands of riders looking to reclaim the streets and raise the visibility of cyclists to other road users.
Lebanon's cycling revolution started Saturday with more a whisper than a wallop. Only seven participants showed up at Beirut's Sanayeh Park for the country's first ever "critical mass" gathering: a cyclists' collective that has, over recent years, grown in popularity in cities around the world. Despite a lack of numbers the group made a two-hour circuit of Beirut, meeting more cyclists along the way.