That is not a parking spot!
In honor of my return to Beirut, I thought I’d do a little post to show all the ways one should not park a car. I thought it would take me at least two trips in various neighborhoods to document all of the crazy ways that Lebanese drivers park, but I was able to accomplish the task quite easily walking around Hamra for an hour.
Without further ado, here are some examples of places that are NOT parking spots (yet are used as such all too frequently in this city).
1) Obstruction of sidewalks is a big issue here! For a city that is small enough to be so easily walkable, the parking adds an unnecessary challenge.
Don’t worry, I can squeeze between the car and scooters.
Look how many obstacles there are just to cross this driveway.
Hey, don’t worry Crown Plaza Hotel, you can keep two taxis parked at all times on one of the most crowded sidewalks in all of Beirut.
Delivery scooters blocking the sidewalk on Bliss Street.
While this taxi is safely tucked into this “parking spot” the pedestrians have to go out into the road to get around it. (And then of course get honked at by the cars trying to DRIVE down the street. Hey cars, if you stay off my sidewalk, I’ll stay out of your road. Deal?)
I could continue with infinite examples of sidewalk obstruction, but let’s move on. Shall we?
2) Double Parking! Traffic in the city would move along a LOT better if cars weren’t always having to avoid the double parkers!
What could easily be a two-lane road bottle necks down to one because of this idiot. Look, he’s not even worried about being way out in the middle of the road.
Hopefully nothing bigger than a scooter plans on driving down this street.
3) Parking on the corners. Most of the streets in Beirut are quite narrow. All the space around the corners is needed so people can turn yet that doesn’t stop most drivers from parking (or even DOUBLE parking) on the corners.
A major cluster of cars jammed on the corner. How do you even get out of a mess like this?
4) And this last one’s in a category all its own. I need two pictures to show you just how awful it is.
The road in the picture below splits into two, one lane going to the right of the blue building, the other lane going to the left. Cars love to park in the “V” shape that naturally forms there. Here, the black car is kind of at the point of the V.
But when you look at it from the side view you can see that this car is essentially parked in the middle of the road! It’s not near to any curb or other car, just flat out parked in the middle of nowhere!
Walking and driving in Beirut would be a much more pleasurable experience if Lebanese drivers would learn how to park!
**Note, I took all of these photos on a quiet Saturday afternoon, so while some of the streets may look empty and traffic may not seem to be a problem, it’s actually quite the opposite most of the time.