Number of cyclists in Brussels increased by 20% last year

Number of cyclists in Brussels increased by 20% last year
A cycling path in Brussels. Photo by Helen Lyons/The Brussels Times

The number of cyclists in Brussels continued to rise in 2021, after a massive 64% increase in the pandemic year of 2020.

According to statistics gathered at stations installed in various locations in the capital, 4.6 million bicycle trips were counted in 2020, Le Vif reports, compared to 5.5 million in 2021. On 20 December, the counting station along the canal in Molenbeek passed the one million mark – a first in Brussels.

Such an increase was not expected last year, and far surpasses the growth seen in the years before the pandemic, which averaged around 13%.

In addition to the canal in Molenbeek, the rue de la Loi and the boulevard Général Jacques, near the VUB, were particularly busy spots. Due to a technical problem, it was not possible to count some days in November at the quai aux Charbonnages in Molenbeek.

Setting new records and beating previous years’ growth

The rates are high despite other such technical issues with counting stations in other parts of Brussels. The number of crossings at counting points increased by just under a third, from over 925,000 to 1.25 million — 660,000 in one direction, 560,000 in the other.

At the VUB along the boulevard Général Jacques (towards Montgomery), there was a 40% increase in the number of passages (630,000 compared with 450,000 in 2020).

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In the other direction, nearly 400,000 cyclists were counted, an increase of 17%.

Brussels Mobility publishes the counts on an open data site, and the “Twitter Brussels Bike Count” account also publishes daily figures. Figures released on Tuesday by the province of Flemish Brabant show a decrease in the number of cyclists counted there last year compared to 2020, a record year.


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