Press Release
Time Out Beirut

Cycling paths in Beirut are nonexistent, cyclistsare rare – there’s an obvious causal connection between the two. Greenwheels, a cycling pressure group that formed in August 2010, was set up to encourage cycling on our streets by making the city safer for those on two wheels Currently the French government is funding a study on transport in Beirut that includes an analysis of the construction of several city cycle routes – Greenwheels want to make sure this plan turns into a reality by working with authorities in the city every step of the way. But introducing en masse sustainable-transport systems into a country not known for its environmental awareness will not happen overnight, so Greenwheels plan to work on one municipality at a time.

They’ve already achieved some success. In October they helped set up ‘bike days’ in Zahlé and Jbeil; During the Jbeil event, Ziad el Hawat, the town’s mayor, announced the plan to build a cycle lane on the coastal road between Jbeil and Amchit. The organisation has set a long-term goal to secure a bike lane on the coastal road between Naqoura on the Southern border and Al Arida on the Northern border by lobbying authorities and persuading celebrities to back the idea. Greenwheels’ founder, Marc Geara, understands the challenges of moving people from four wheels to two wheels, especially in a county with ‘lobbies with more power than government that often prevent change’, but he is confident that it can work. ‘During Dublin’s economic boom in the late 1990s the city saw a dramatic decline in the use of bicycles which were very common. The city realized that they wanted to reverse the trend and they took specific initiatives to get people cycling again – it worked there and it can work here,’ he told Time Out.

Article on Time Out Beirut

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Benefits of Cycling:
1.
A human dimension in cities
2.
Take up little space
3.
Quick and Easy, Efficient
4.
For every one, Good for the economy
5.
No pollution, No noise, in all weather
6.
Physically & mentally healthy