Brussels is now connected to the large European cycling network Euro Velo 5, also known as 'The Via Romae'.
Mobility minister Elke Van den Brandt officially inaugurated the new cycling signs earlier in the week at a ceremony in Park Cinquantenaire.
The 3,200 km long 'Via Romae' route crosses seven countries, and passes through numerous European landmarks and Unesco world heritage sites. Starting in Canterbury in England it makes its way through Belgium, Luxembourg, France, Germany, Switzerland and finishes in the port city of Brindisi in southern Italy.
The signs are marked with the number 5 inside a circle of the EU stars. The Belgian part includes 400 km of marked cycle route, which now also runs through the capital where more than 100 new signs will indicate the Euro Velo 5 route.
Investing in cycling infrastructure
The number of cyclists increased by 64% during the height of the lockdowns according to data gathered at stations placed in various locations in the city, and the trend has continued.
The region of Brussels has also invested heavily to install more cycling paths during the last two years, earmarking a budget to roll out over 40 km of routes.
Some of the capital’s busiest roads such as Rue de la Loi, Avenue Général Jacques and Boulevard Reyers have seen new bicycle paths installed, connecting different parts of the city with continuous routes and creating safer conditions for cyclists.
“It’s good to have signs, but we also need [more] cycle paths,” Belga News Agency quoted Van den Brandt as saying at the ceremony on Wednesday. We still have a long way to go there, but we are working hard. With safe infrastructure, we want to welcome everyone who cycles through Brussels, wanting to the discover the city.”
“Cycling helps relieve congestion in the city and reduce CO2 emissions,” the minister said. “Since we started in 2019, our guiding principle for cycling infrastructure has been build it, and they will come,” adding that the number of cyclists in Brussels is booming.
“These international cycle routes allow cyclists to experience the freedom of cycling across borders, connecting them with other European citizens.”