Brussels cuts down E40 motorway for new biking lane

Brussels cuts down E40 motorway for new biking lane
© Belga

A new two-way cycling lane will run along parts of the E40 motorway, linking Brussels' and Flanders' bike networks in the latest boost to cycling infrastructure in Belgium.

The new bike path is part of plans to bolster cycling networks across the country to make inter-regional commutes by bike safer, Brussels Mobility spokesperson Camille Thiry told The Brussels Times.

The regional mobility agency began work on the roughly 2 kilometre-long cycling lane on Sunday evening, according to a press release.

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The lane will be laid down on the right-hand side of a complex section of the E40 (coming into Brussels from Leuven), between the Avenue des Communautés and the Avenue Reyers, with works expected to last around a week.

"This new cycling lane will be protected from vehicle traffic by concrete boulders, making it a safe alternative to the busy Chaussée de Louvain [in Brussels]," the press statement read.

"As a cyclist, you will be able to arrive right in the centre of Brussels via the E40," Brussels Regional Mobility Minister Elke Van den Brandt said.

Thiry said that the new cycling lane is also part of a wider project called Velostrade, meant to more closely link the cycling networks of the Brussels-Capital Region with that of Flanders, particularly the area of the Flemish Periphery of Brussels, or Flemish Brabant.

"The goal is to contribute to the creation of a more peaceful public space along Rue Colonel Bourg" Van den Brandt said, referring to the section of the E40 which sits in the border between the Flemish and Brussels regions.

The move to shrink down the section of the E40, the longest motorway in Europe, for vehicle traffic to the advantage of cyclists also comes amid a wider push for commuters to transition away from cars and into greener modes of transport.

While the greener mobility transition was already part of the plans of the new Brussels government, officials seized on the coronavirus lockdown to push forward pro-cycling developments, announcing dozens of kilometres of new cycling lanes and other infrastructure as Belgian cities emerged from months of standstill.

Gabriela Galindo

The Brussels Times

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