Outrageous before-and-after photo shows city’s ‘nightmare’ highway expansion project: ‘I hate everything about it’

A highway “update” in the coastal city of Alexandria, Egypt, that was meant to fix traffic has only worsened the issue — and upset the locals.

A Reddit user posted an image of an expanded highway that has the internet outraged. Alexandria recently decided to address a traffic issue on one of its coastal highways by adding additional lanes — some of which go directly through the beach.

“Update on the 10 lane coastal highway in Egypt. Seems like they fixed traffic. Oh wait,” writes the Redditor who posted the images.

Alexandria highway
Photo Credit: u/RealZolyS / Reddit

The Twitter account cars.destroyed.our.cities (@CarsRuinedCity) posted the same images found on the Reddit forum, with the addition of an image of the pre-update highway. This series shows that the beach wasn’t too crowded before the highway was expanded.

The expansion of the highway onto the sand took up valuable oceanfront pedestrian real estate, causing major foot traffic congestion on what’s left of the beach. Additionally, now that the new highway is up and running, the issue of traffic hasn’t been solved. Instead, it appears more cars are simply using the route, in a classic model of supply meeting demand and that supply immediately being consumed.

Not only is the new freeway a visual atrocity, but it also feeds into an ever-growing issue of pollution caused by vehicles. Highway vehicles release 1.4 billion tons of planet-overheating gases into the air annually. Plus, living near traffic congestion correlates with health issues. And the more traffic congestion one lives with, the worse health issues can become.

The Alexandria highway expansion project doesn’t appear to be fixing traffic as intended, which is a more common result of this type of project than one might think.

As The New York Times previously reported, “When a congested road is widened, travel times go down — at first. But then people change their behaviors. After hearing a highway is less busy, commuters might switch from transit to driving or change the route they take to work. Some may even choose to move farther away.”

Both locals and onlookers were upset over the images of the disrupted Alexandria beach.

“Thanks, I hate everything about it,” wrote one Redditor.

“That’s a nice beach you got there. Would be a shame is someone put a 10 lane highway directly in front of it,” jokes another Reddit user.

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