Residents of Ashrafieh protest against the construction of a highway, Saturday, March 1, 2014. (The Daily Star/Mahmoud Kheir)
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Activists and residents are calling for the funding planned for the Fouad Boutros Highway in Ashrafieh to be spent instead on improving urban planning and public transport, after protests against the controversial project over the weekend drew hundreds.More than 2,300 people have signed an online petition against the project, which would see a 1.3-km four-lane highway built to link Ashrafieh's Alfred Naccahe Road with Charles Helou Avenue by the Beirut Port. The project, which was originally proposed more than 40 years ago, is intended to ease congestion in Ashrafieh, but a civil coalition of NGOs, professionals and activists argues that it will in fact increase traffic by facilitating access for cars to the neighborhood.
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