Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Parking meters in Beirut

Beirut has always been a relaxed city. Sure, the occasional bomb might go off, checkpoints might take forever to pass, but there was always one thing that would calm the most worried minds: parking! It was either free or dirt cheap with around 1 US dollar for a whole night. Alas, no more: Beirut’s wise leaders have decided to introduce parking meters all over the city.

Photo 1: Suddenly, these mysterious wrapped poles started popping up

You can already see the meters being installed, but they are still wrapped up. Of course, nothing is too good for my beloved audience who deserve to know every bit of a sad story, so see below for a picture of the actual meter itself.

Photo 2: Here's what underneath: a brand-new parking meter...yuck!


What is amazing to this blogger is that the brave and daring leaders of Beirut are also installing parking meters on Bliss Street. That’s going to be something to watch since cars are usually doubled parked at least while waiting for their orders which they shout at the restaurants. Basically, all of Bliss Street is a huge drive-through. God (and the unfathomable wise mayor of Beirut!) only knows who will be supposed to fill up the meter when triple parked.

Photo 3: Bliss Street: which of the triple parked cars will fill up the meter?

Still, the meters are here and the sad conclusion must be that Beirut will never be the same. Free parking…one more thing to be nostalgic about when remembering the old Beirut. Then again, the Lebanese are notorious for their own interpretation of laws and regulations, so they might just ignore the meters altogether :-)

Photo 4: Beirut at its best: Parking beneath a no parking sign

6 comments:

Mustapha said...

Yeah, when these were installed in Tripoli 2 years ago (ok, I had to brag :) ), life became much easier. Let's see if the same happens in Beirut..

Gerard said...

Or the other hated object, called wheel clamp, must also be introduced to Beirut. Or the parking meters will just be decor for the modern city.

El Matador said...

They also at some point installed cameras on top of traffic lights. Of course, nodody respects them. What Lebanese authorities fail to do is Law enforcement. And even when Law is enforced it is done arbitrarily and of course the "elite" can always violate any Law "with the state's best compliments."
On a totally different note, Riemer I like your blog. Check my newly created blog www.breakingfrontiers.blogspot.com
and maybe if you like u can add a link to it on your website.

Eliedh said...

"the occasional bomb might go off"

Today we got the meter and the bomb!

This "country" still needs a lot of work to become a country!

Riemer Brouwer said...

@El Matador
Thanks for the compliment. I'd be happy to link to your blog as long as you link to mine:-)

Jacob Sikais said...

If people are worried about parking meters... they can always try using the Europark parking test card... it works for me in Australia so I'm not sure if it would work in Lebanon though... the company claims it should work in most pay and display parking meters that accept credit cards.