Brussels will make slopes of Justice Palace car-free from March

Brussels will make slopes of Justice Palace car-free from March
© Beeld Regie der Gebouwen/GlobalView

The City of Brussels will make the slopes in front of the Justice Palace, which are often used as a parking space, car-free from 1 March, announced alderman for Urban Development Ans Persoons.

The many cars on the ramps in front of the courthouse "dishonour the building's patrimonial beauty," according to Persoons, who added that the area is not a public parking zone.

"Making the slopes of the Courthouse car-free will highlight our heritage, and do justice to the Place Poelart and its breathtaking view of Brussels," Brussels-City mayor Philippe Close said in a press release.

The slopes are part of the Justice Palace, meaning that they are property of the State and are managed by the Buildings Agency. Additionally, there is a public right of way, which means that they must remain accessible to everyone.

However, the car park is illegal and poses a security risk in case of fire, for example, when fast intervention by the fire brigade through accessible roads is crucial.

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Access to the slope between Place Poelaert and the Rue des Minimes will be limited to pedestrians and cyclists only, confirmed Laurent Vrijdaghs, Administrator General of the Buildings Authority. "We are pleased that this public area will be reserved for the public and soft mobility."

Additionally, the City is now in talks with the residents of the Marolles district to look into how the area can be made greener and a more pleasant public space, by adding benches or lighting, for example.

The move is part of a larger push to reduce car traffic in Brussels city centre, alongside the recent introduction of a generalised zone 30 across the Capital Region, and plans to pedestrianise most of the Place Royale.

"During the lockdown, it became clear that the Marolles are a neighbourhood where the residents yearn for more quality public space," Persoons said. "By no longer allowing illegal parking, this exceptional heritage will be restored to its former glory."

The City refers the employees of the Brussels Bar Association and the Federal Public Service for Justice - who are the main users of the private car park - to the parking zone under Place Poelaert, which has 500 spaces.

Additionally, the Poelaert/Toison D'Or/Louiza/Stefania area has a total of about 3,300 underground parking spaces, as well as good accessibility by public transport, the City stressed.

Maïthé Chini

The Brussels Times

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