. Barriers and obstacles around the square’s different entrances prevented pedestrians and drivers from going there. Stores and restaurants in the area were negatively impacted. Many retailers closed down their shops. The decision was made after Downtown Beirut witnessed a spectacular New Year’s Eve party. Thousands of Lebanese people welcomed 2018 in Nejmeh Square. According to
, Itani plans on bringing business back to the area. The Mayor talked to the retailers, and he said that he could potentially lower the rents in the Downtown District of Beirut. Also, the Mayor noted that eight new parking blocks would be constructed in Beirut to deal with the traffic. In fact, 700,000 cars enter the capital every day. Five of the parking lots will be located in Hamra, Ashrafieh, Corniche Al Mazra, Monot, and Tariq Al Jdideh. The construction will begin this year and end in two or three years. Itani suggested the use of incinerators to solve the garbage crisis in Beirut. Environmental activists have rejected the solution because these plants are not consistent with Lebanon’s trash which is mostly constituted of organic and recyclable material. The Mayor reassured people that the plants will meet European standards and that experts will be overseeing the incinerators.
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