Flemish people should keep cycling as Belgium phases out of lockdown, according to Flemish Minister of Mobility and Public Works Lydia Peeters.
Peeters has put together a “toolbox for sustainable mobility” and launched a campaign called #blijvenfietsen (‘keep cycling’) together with the Flemish Foundation for Traffic Science, Fietsberaad Vlaanderen and the Pedestrian Movement.
“We must maintain and encourage” the positive trend of commuters who choose to cycle to work, “together with other sustainable forms of travel,” said Peeters.
Peeters’ “toolbox” involves actions to be taken by local authorities, such as implementing the concept of bicycle streets (where cyclists have priority). A large-scale poster campaign will involve signs along regional roads and highways encouraging cycling over driving.
Peeters also wants to widen cycling and walking paths and pedestrian crossings to ensure social distancing, and add signs encouraging people to use their elbows rather than their hands when pushing buttons on traffic lights.
Peeters will free €3 million for cities and towns and €2 million for municipal roads, with a maximum of €7,000 per local authority.
There will be further investment in the years to come, Peeters announced.
Brussels, as well, has made efforts to improve its cycling infrastructure on the way out of the lockdown, making the entire city centre a priority zone for cyclists and pedestrians and investing in extra bicycle racks.
The Brussels Times