Fast Forward launches the “Darreja” Campaign for alternative sustainable transportation in cooperation with IndyACT

Fast Forward launches the “Darreja” Campaign for alternative sustainable transportation in cooperation with IndyACT 
 
Beirut – 12 June, 2010: In cooperation with IndyACT, the League of Independent Activists, Fast Forward launched “Darreja”, its campaign for alternative, sustainable transportation in Lebanon since Beirut had become a city crowded with private cars due to the lack of public transportation and urban planning, congestion and pollution of the city which has caused major economic and social damage in Lebanon.
 
In this context, about 150 persons went on a symbolic tour, starting from Biel, and cycled on a bicycle lane drawn symbolically along the Corniche.
 
They were able to enjoy an exclusive space without imposing on pedestrians or vehicles, while other activists raised a banner with a message calling for “sustainable transportation".
 
The Dutch and Danish ambassadors were among the participants who participated in this activity. 
 
 
This campaign was born through the mobilization of a group of young individuals who would like to have the choice of using alternative and environmentally friendly means of transportation ranging from public means of transportation such as buses and tramways to non-motorized vehicles such as bicycles.
 
The campaign "Darreja" aims to highlight that the bicycle could be a real means of transportation and that implementing bicycle lanes allowing for safe cycling is perfectly feasible. The campaign lead by Fast Forward aims to promote the development of alternative and sustainable means of transportation on the national level.
 
“Darreja” is the first of a series of events aiming to raise awareness and call for urgent action from the authorities.
 
 
To achieve these objectives, the campaign "Darreja" will carry on a series of steps to formally launch the National Campaign for the development of alternative and sustainable means of transportation.
 
The campaign will include many activities for public awareness, and work to create community pressure from the heart of civil society. 
 
Lily Abi-Chahine, an activist in the “Darreja” Campaign, stated that “the participation of individuals in this event reflects their desire for a swift and conclusive solution for the traffic and pollution problems.
 
Using bicycles is a first step that we encourage, just like using public transports and carpooling”.
 
Car ownership rate in Lebanon is higher than the rates in the world, with an estimated one car for every three persons. The main problem of road transportation in Lebanon is the heavy reliance on private cars, the partial application of laws, lack in regulations and a decline in the standard of services provided.
 
Over dependence on the automobile adds to the cost of transportation, to the consumption of resources, requires large financial investments to build roads and establish parking spaces, in addition it causes more traffic congestion and increases the adverse effects on the environment; not to mention the exorbitant medical charges resulting from traffic accidents and respiratory diseases caused by pollution. 
 
"The transportation sector, in its present state, has become a source of negative impact on both the environmental and social level, and it has become one of the obstacles facing sustainable development in Lebanon today. Based on that it became necessary to develop an integrated national plan for the management of this sector," said Ali Fakhry, Communication officer at IndyACT. 
 
 
- End – 
 
For more information, please contact:
 
Ali Fakhri Communication officer, tel. – fax: +961-1-447192, mobile: +961-71-421593, e-mail: comms@indyact.org
 
“Darreja” on Facebook:
 
Fast Forward Group
 
Pictures of this event are available on:
www.indyact.blogspot.com 

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