Streets around new BruCity to become greener and more bicycle friendly

Streets around new BruCity to become greener and more bicycle friendly
Brussels skyline. Credit: Orlando Whitehead

The City of Brussels has applied for an urban planning permit for the redevelopment of the public space around the new administrative centre, with the goal of continuing and extending the style and vision of the central avenues.

There will be considerably more trees and all above-ground parking spaces will disappear, BRUZZ reports, as part of broader efforts to greenify the area known as BruCity and make it more friendly to cyclists.

Streets that can expect a makeover include the Rue des Poissonniers (Visverkopersstraat), Rue de la Vierge Noire (Zwarte Lievevrouwstraat), Rue de Laeken (Lakensestraat), Rue du Marché aux Poulets (Kiekenmarkt), Rue des Halles (Hallenstraat), Rue de l'Evêque (Bisschopsstraat) and Rue des Augustins (Augustijnenstraat).

Rue des Halles and Rue du Marché aux Poulets will become a pedestrian zone, joining that of the central avenues. Retractable bollards will be placed at the entrances of Rue des Halles and Rue du Marché aux Poulets in order to control the traffic flow, and access will be limited to only deliveries, emergency services and local residents.

New bicycle streets

Rue des Poissonniers, Rue de la Vierge Noire and Rue de Laeken will be transformed into bicycle streets where cyclists will have priority over motorised traffic, with the addition of ochre-coloured bicycle lanes.

The direction of travel for motor vehicles will not change - car traffic will remain possible towards the south, towards Anderlecht gate. Only bus traffic is allowed towards Antwerp Gate.

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A small square will be created for the new administrative centre at the current intersection of Rue de la Vierge Noire, Rue Melsens (Melsensstraat) and Rue Joseph Plateau (Joseph Plateaustraat), cutting off this junction for car traffic.

All parking spaces for cars will be removed in order to make the changes possible, but 140 bicycle stands will remain.

The efforts are part of a larger plan to make Brussels more pedestrian and cyclist friendly, limiting auto traffic to curb high air pollution levels in the city. Photo by Orlando Whitehead/The Brussels Times.

Extra trees to be planted

Two unhealthy trees will be felled and 43 new trees of various species will be planted in the area, along with several green beds with flowers and grasses.

These will be chosen with the seasons in mind, so that there will be something growing throughout the year. The green areas will also provide a natural water reservoir in case of heavy rainfall.

New street lighting will be installed in Rue des Halles, Rue du Marché aux Poulets and Rue Grétry (Grétrystraat), coordinated with the lighting in the central avenues.

The many bus stops in the area will be organised more logically, with the bus stop on Rue de la Vierge Noire removed and the bus stop on Augustijnenstraat converted into a stop for transit buses. The bus stop on Rue de l'Evêque will remain and will be provided with a roof. Two new stops with shelters will also be built on Rue des Poissonniers.

The permit file can be consulted online. Anyone wishing to do so can submit an objection or comment until 10 February 2022. The consultation committee will then use those reactions and a series of recommendations to decide on the plans.

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