The City of Brussels has unlocked half a million euros to install new cycling infrastructure amid a push by mobility officials to boost cycling as the capital emerges from the coronavirus lockdown.
City councillors approved a budget of €550,000 for the installation of 3,000 additional bicycle parking racks, capable of offering additional parking space to at least 6,000 more bicycles, Bruzz reports.
Mobility councillor for Brussels 1000, Bart Dhondt, said that the new racks would be placed in areas where there was a demand for additional parking but also in areas where they expected the racks would fuel bicycle use.
“We will place them especially next to pedestrian crossings, where parking is not allowed but often happens,” Dhondt said.
In addition to the bike racks, some 50 lockable bike storages will also be installed in the streets of Brussels’ largest municipality.
The boost to biking infrastructure in downtown Brussels fits with a plan by regional officials to cut down on vehicle traffic as the lockdown imposed to curb the coronavirus pandemic is lifted progressively.
In late April, ahead of the first stage of the lockdown phase-out, the region’s mobility minister announced the creation of 40 kilometres of new cycling paths along the main regional roads, including on Rue de la Loi, a traffic-heavy artery cutting through the heart of the European Quarter.
In preparation for the reopening of shops on 11 May, and citing a need to provide sufficient space to ensure social-distancing was maintained, city and regional officials moved to transform downtown Brussels to a residential zone, where pedestrians and cyclists would have road priority over vehicles.