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Brussels cyclist killed by car at dangerous intersection

© Belga

A cyclist was killed over the weekend at an intersection in the Forest neighbourhood of Brussels that was reported as dangerous to the Brussels Mobility agency earlier this month.

The 30-year-old woman was struck by a car while crossing Avenue Albert using the crosswalk on Saturday around 5:45 PM. There is a tram track in the intersection that is thought to have perhaps obscured the driver’s view.

“It is not yet clear exactly how the accident happened. The car driver may not have been able to see the cyclist clearly through the tram. It stopped at the Berkendael stop,” a police spokeswoman told Bruzz.

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Emergency services arrived and treated the woman at the scene then transferred her to the Erasmus Hospital in Anderlecht where she later died of her injuries.

The driver, a 21-year-old woman, remained at the scene and will be questioned later.

Residents of the Forest area have complained about the dangerous intersection in the past. A petition was even launched to install traffic calming devices.

One resident, Dimitri Notte, wrote to Brussels Mobility earlier this month to point out “A lack of traffic signaling” and “a limited field of vision” that make the intersection particularly dangerous. He included photos and descriptions of the issue in his complaint.

“Pedestrians who want to cross will end up in a blind spot because of the parked cars and installations of the [STIB-MIVB],” Notte warned in his letter, adding suggestions for short and long-term solutions to address the issues and closing the complaint by adding, “Are we waiting for an accident before we intervene?”

Elke Van den Brandt of the Brussels Mobility Committee, who has been working to increase pedestrian and cyclist safety in the city, tweeted her condolences to the family and called for immediate action regarding the intersection.

What terrible news. My condolences to the family and friends of the victim. We will of course have the circumstances thoroughly investigated. I find it hard to accept that a dangerous situation was raised and still remained dangerous at first glance. I am looking with my services at how we can do better and avoid the avoidable.

Helen Lyons
The Brussels Times

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