Brussels pilots shutting down roads during school hours

Brussels pilots shutting down roads during school hours
Brussels will run a pilot project to shut down school streets to traffic for some parts of the day. Credit: Google Street View

Two streets in central Brussels will be shut off to vehicles during start and end-of-school hours from Tuesday, city officials announced.

Authorities are testing a "school streets" project, which will see parts of the Rue de Flanders and of the Rue de la Clé partially shut down to drivers for three weeks.

The streets will only be shut during hours in which schoolchildren come into and leave the schools in those streets, nudged between the Sainte-Catherine and Dansaert neighbourhoods of central Brussels.

The trial is the second of its kind, after the idea had already been tested in a school street in the Molenbeek municipality after the Easter holidays.

"The effect is immediately [perceivable]: More space and more liberty for children, no more carhorns and a more peaceful environment," Brussels councillor for mobility, Bart Dhont, said.

"We want to make parents and children want to come to school by foot or by bike again," he added.

The most recent "street school" test, which will run until the end of the month, will preclude the generalisation of the initiative to other parts of the city.

"From the start of the next school year, we will expand the project to all schools in the city' territory wishing to take part in it," Dhont said.

The Brussels Times

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