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Reported on:
Mon, 2021-03-08 18:00
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Parking… always a challenge in Ashrafieh

Parking is always a problem in a crowded neighborhood, such as Ashrafieh. We asked some residents and visitors what they thought about this issue.
When it comes to parking in Ashrafieh, one might have to pinch and squeak in order to fit. In daytime, the street view is constantly decorated with cars aligned to the sidewalk. It´s crowded, to say the least.

“Parking in Ashrafieh? It´s terrible!” a woman yelled out as a response to the parking situation.

Most people don´t seem very happy when asked about traffic and parking in this part of Beirut. A frequent driver, Salim Turk, actually described the parking situation here as the worst in all of the Lebanese capital.

“I think that parking in Ashrafieh is worse than most other areas because many people come here to work. It´s a very busy place during working hours,” he said.

Although most people agree that there isn´t enough space to go around for all the people moving around in traffic, some still manage. Fadi Haddad drives to Achrafieh for work, five days a week, and usually manages to park on the same street every day.

“I think most frequent drivers here have like two or three spots where they usually park. It is all about routine and knowing the area,” he said.
There are seven major parking lots in Achrafieh and several smaller ones. Rashida Abou Ghazeleh parked her car in the ABC mall parking lot even though she wasn´t actually visiting the mall.

“Finding parking is very difficult and it takes time to drive around, hoping for an empty space somewhere. I rather waste my money on paying for parking here than wasting my time going around the bloc in circles trying to find a spot,” she said.

Kassim Habkouk also resorted to the mall parking lot, after failing to find a parallel parking spot on the street. He said that if you think the situation is bad now, just wait and see until the building projects in Ashrafieh are done: “They keep building apartments and more offices. People are flocking around Ashrafieh like sheep. But where will they put their cars? More space for this and that but nobody thinks about parking,” Habkouk said with a shrug.

Indeed, not much is being done to create more parking spaces. Ashrafieh drivers keep honking their way ahead and claiming every open space. And if there is none, one is sure to reinvent the rules of parking, leaving pedestrians to wonder how anyone could ever fit into that small narrow space.

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