Tram noise along Avenue du Derby is ‘shaking the buildings’

Tram noise along Avenue du Derby is ‘shaking the buildings’
Credit: Belga

Brussels residents who live on Avenue du Derby in Ixelles have signed a petition asking STIB to adjust the speeds of the trams that drive through their street, saying the noise from the trolleys is causing the buildings to shake.

Residents cite trams 8 and 25 as the culprits, and want the Brussels transit company to employ noise dampening solutions, according to reporting from La Libre.

“We suffer from the noise pollution that reaches us both during the day and at night,” says the petition. “From five o’clock in the morning, the trams – the latest models of which are becoming longer and heavier – pass here incessantly and at far too high a speed for this residential avenue. They shake the houses and buildings until one o’clock at night.”

They point out that the avenue is in a Zone 30, meaning vehicles can’t exceed that speed.

“We have a speedometer that shows that the trams rarely drive less than 50 kilometres per hour here,” said residents, but STIB was doubtful of that.

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“That would surprise me,” spokesperson An Van hamme told Bruzz. “In principle, trams are not subject to the highway code except at traffic lights or on the instructions of a police officer. But when there is no separate bed, and cars can also drive on the tram tracks, tram drivers do take the highway code into account, even though they are not obliged to do so.”

In the narrow Avenue du Derby, there is in fact no separate bed for the tram, meaning it drives along the same road as the cars.

“I would therefore be surprised if the trams drive faster than 30 kilometres per hour there,” said Van hamme. “Our trams adapt to the situation as well as to the traffic.”

The spokesperson pointed out, however, that the trams are very heavy vehicles and this, coupled with the noise they generate, can make them look like they’re going a lot faster than they really are.

Nevertheless, STIB is looking into the issue.

“We do our best to take possible inconvenience into account,” said Van hamme.

Helen Lyons
The Brussels Times

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