Molenbeek’s Rue de l’Avenir now a one-way, residential street
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    Molenbeek’s Rue de l’Avenir now a one-way, residential street

    The Rue de l’Avenir is now a one-way street. Credit: Google Street View

    After a years-long dispute, the Rue de l’Avenir in Molenbeek-Saint-Jean has been redefined, and is now a residential one-way street.

    The roadway, which links the canal to the historic centre of the commune, had been heavily used ever since the Chaussée de Gand, which runs parallel to it, became a one-way street.

    Discussions on the future of the Rue de l’Avenir began in 2012. The then Secretary of State for Mobility, Bruno De Lille (Groen), promised at the time that it would be redefined on the basis of proposals from area residents. In 2014, Brussels Region launched an official study on making the street more user-friendly, but the talks between the region and the commune were broken off when the time came to discuss the financing of the works.

    Last year De Lille’s successor in the Mobility portfolio, Pascal Smet (sp.a) relaunched the matter, announcing that the region would pay for the road. “There have been many meetings with the residents,” said Public Works Alderman Jef Van Damme (sp.a). “These have led to a compromise. The street will not become a pedestrian walkway, but it will become a one-way, even though I know some area residents and politicians would have liked to go farther than that.”

    The road will finally be residential, with a 20 km/hr speed limit. A sizeable portion will be left for pedestrians and cyclists. Plants, benches and other urban furniture will be installed, and parking will be limited.

    “It’s possible to transform the street into a playing area, but that needs to come from the residents,” Van Damme said.

    Oscar Schneider
    The Brussels Times