The Brussels region is to get rid of 65,000 on-street parking places – one in four of all surface parking places in the city, De Tijd and L’Echo report.
The plan, to be achieved by 2030, is the latest step in the region’s mobility plan, part of which aims to reduce the number of cars parked along public roads. As compensation, the region will provide 20,000 places in multi-storey car parks currently owned by companies and others, who will be encouraged to make the spaces available to the public after hours in the evening and at weekends. Already, half a million such spaces have been made available to the public.
“The Brussels region has a target of reducing car parking in the public space, and will take any initiative available to remove cars to parking places outside of the streetscape,” the region said in a statement. The regulation will not affect the private parking places of residents in front of their own garage.
On-street parking places are already in decline, from 293,000 in 2005 to 265,000 at present. The latest move, seen as a crucial step in dissuading car users from bringing their vehicles into the centre, would bring the number down to a bare 200,000. The ultimate goal is to turn the street over to public transport – preferably running in its own bedding – and to cyclists and pedestrians, according to Xavier Tackoen, head of Espaces Mobilités, the region’s mobility agency.
A plan is also currently under discussion on the question of adjusting the cost of parking to make off-street parking financially more attractive.
The cut in the number of parking places will, for commuters coming into Brussels from the regions, go hand in hand with the narrowing of the roads entering the city, such as the E40 coming from both East Flanders and from Liege and Flemish Brabant. The papers report the Brussels region as intending to make it clear that the residents of the capital have priority over the incomer, who then has to decide whether to suffer the inevitable effects, or leave the car at home and come to town by other means.