The road traffic institute Vias has drawn up a list of the streets and roads in Brussels with the worst record for road accidents.
Despite the pandemic and teleworking, Belgium still suffered some 30,000 road accidents in 2020, with 484 fatalities. The death toll has been steadily coming down for several years now, but still remains unacceptably high.
The Vias list relies on accidents in 2019, and locations with accidents in the teens. There were a total of 241, spread across 11 locations.
– Boulevard du Jardin Botanique, part of the Brussels inner ring road, leads the list with 39 accidents, which will come as little surprise to anyone who has tried to navigate it on foot or in any type of vehicle.
The list continues:
– Avenue Bockstael (Laeken) 29
– Avenue Houba De Strooper (Laeken) 25
– Boulevard Leopold II (Brussels) 23
– Chaussée d’Alsemberg (Uccle) 22
– Rue des Colonies (Brussels) 22
– Chaussée de Waterloo (Brussels) 18
– Avenue Rogier (Schaerbeek) 17
– Quai de Willebroeck (Brussels) 16
– Rue Marie-Christine (Laeken) 15
– Rue Théodore Verhaegen (St-Gilles) 15
Strikingly, with only four exceptions, all of the roads in question are located in Brussels communes (Laeken was engulfed by Brussels 100 years ago). The other 14 communes in the region presumably still have road accidents, but not in the same numbers.
The institute is calling on the city and the region to pay special attention to these danger-spots, with traffic-calming measures and improved infrastructure.
Earlier this week, three citizen’s movement handed over a pack of demands to Brussels region’s mobility minister Elke Van den Brandt (Groen) calling for a more integrated policy including safety and mobility, and drawing on examples from among others Oslo and Barcelona.
The list of demands matches some of the policy lines already announced by Van den Brandt, admitted Marlies Lenaerts, one of the organisers.
“But we want to avoid it being just about words, as was sometimes the case with the previous road safety plan,” she told Bruzz. “Even then, zero deaths was the goal, but the end result was not even close. The plan also had no clear priorities and took too little account of the stakeholders in the sector, such as the citizen movements. That has to change.”