Etterbeek to transform major roads into cycling streets

Etterbeek to transform major roads into cycling streets
Etterbeek will transform some of its major roads into cycling streets. Credit: Google Street View

Cars will progressively lose ground in one Brussels municipality after the implementation of a long-term plan to transform some of its main roads into cycling streets.

Local authorities in Etterbeek gave the go-ahead to the initiative at the start of May, coinciding with a broad post-lockdown boost for non-motorised transport in Brussels.

The project will transform all municipal roads included in the regional cycling network into streets where vehicles' maximum speed will be capped to 30 km/h and where cars will not be allowed to overtake cyclists.

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First on the list is the axis between Rue Sneessens and Rue Philippe Baucq, local mobility councillor Rik Jellema announced on Facebook. Jellema did not provide details regarding when the modifications would begin.

The financial impact of the streets' transformation will be limited, as it will mainly require new road signs and road markings to be put in place, Bruzz reports.

Jellema said that, by providing greater protection to cyclists, the hope was to encourage greater use of bicycles or other means of non-motorised transport to get around, especially for shorter trips.

The move by Etterbeek is part of a larger effort by mobility officials at the regional level to decongest the Belgian capital's roads, flushing out cars in favour of more cyclists and pedestrians.

This week, as all shops were allowed to open, new rules meant cars lost priority in all streets in downtown Brussels, a change allowing users to walk on the road to ensure there was enough space to social-distance.

As the country begins to exit its months-long coronavirus lockdown, Jellema also said that increased bike use could help to prevent saturation in cities' public transport networks.

Gabriela Galindo

The Brussels Times

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