A Diamond’s Eye View of the World

a multi-faceted look at the middle east, and the middle west

Cars, cars, everywhere: traffic problems

Posted by adiamondinsunlight on April 17, 2007

I’ll start this post off with a totally unrelated “Some days you feel like a nut …” anecdote:

Yesterday my friend M called to ask whether I would be interested in working with him on a local project. After my saying “yes”, he told me: Diamond, what we need is to develop a pattern whereby I don’t ever even need to see you.

Do you know, I replied, laughing, I’m quite certain that no one has ever said that to me before. I imagine that there are people who have thought that, but they haven’t told me directly.

Well. He’s been under a lot of stress recently, working on the launch of a project called “Now Lebanon”, whose recurring delays have led me to wonder whether “Later, Lebanon” or even “B3ad shwei, Lubnan” might not be more appropriate titles.

Also, I’ve never really seen him without the leavening presence of alcohol. Perhaps the vino softens him up a bit :-P.

On to the real post. My friends in Damascus, both Syrian and non, have complained for the past four years about the increasing traffic in Damascus.

Qualitatively, everyone knows that the number of cars on the roads has increased, thanks to the government’s early 2000s relaxation on purchase and ownership restrictions and a more recent decrease in car purchase taxes (reduced two years ago, from something like 213% to 67% ).

An article on road safety in today’s issue of Lebanon’s English language paper had this statistic:

In Syria in 2001 for example, there were 779,562 vehicles present. In 2006 that number had increased to 1,211,721.

In five years, the number of cars in Syria has grown by nearly half a million. No wonder everyone complains about the traffic!


One Response to “Cars, cars, everywhere: traffic problems”

  1. […] Diamond wrote, ““Now Lebanon”, whose recurring delays have led me to wonder whether “Later, […]

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