To the untrained eye, this may look like a colossal failure in civil engineering. But this strange double sidewalk seems to fulfill a purpose as it runs right in front of a mansion owned by one of Lebanon’s most powerful politicians.

Because Lebanese politicians are so important, they must go to great lengths to secure their homes, blocking off already congested streets across town so that no one can get near them. But in this case, it seems the planners wanted to be a bit more subtle.

Instead of overtly blocking access to the street with a row of painted steel barricades, it seems this politician’s security team have decided to simply make the road smaller by adding the additional sidewalk. Now the street is easier to block and the brash appropriation of public space will seem less obvious or “more beautiful” as the architectural brief may have read.

The result of this added congestion is also permanent and will remain regardless of the mansion owner’s tenure in office. I wonder if his security team even bothered to get a permit for such an odd ‘civil works’ project.

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