Brussels-City government has announced it will scrap one of the two carriageways of Rue de la Loi leading into the city, to be able to widen and improve safety on the cycle paths on both sides.
The works concern only the part of the road within the inner ring road, between Rue Royale and Rue Ducale – effectively the width of the Royal Park. The main part of the road leading to the European quarter, which is a regional road, is not affected.
Works begin on Monday, when traffic will be restricted to one lane in each direction.
Between the Ring and the Rue Royale will come a cycle path two metres wide, still painted on the roadway as at present, but ochre-coloured and with a buffer zone for additional safety.
Cars that cross onto the white marking line will feel a vibration, such as on the motorway when crossing into the hard shoulder.
"Rue de la Loi is an important gateway to the Pentagon,” said Bart Dhondt (Groen), city councillor for mobility, speaking to Bruzz.
“The regional part of it is the busiest bicycle axis in Brussels. In order to bring this flow of cyclists comfortably and safely to the centre, we are also improving the infrastructure on our territory. The car lanes are narrowing, which will slow them down in line with general zone 30."
The changes will improve the way for cyclists to enter the city and make their way quickly and easily to the city centre and, via the newly-resurfaced Kanstersteen behind the Central Station, to the Marolles area.
"All those separate projects are now coming together. And that pays off, because we see many more cyclists. It is very satisfying that all the efforts are appreciated," said Dhondt.
In time, the painted cycle paths on Rue de la Loi will be replaced by raised paths, to make it even more difficult for cars to encroach.
"The permit application has been submitted, but the discussions with the Monument and Landscapes Committee are difficult," he said.
"We need to do something about those cumbersome and expensive procedures. In the meantime, we use markings to improve something on the spot. No permit is needed for that."