Keeping Bois de la Cambre car-free: Citizens asked for their views

Keeping Bois de la Cambre car-free: Citizens asked for their views
Bikes in Bois de la Cambre. Credit: VUB

The City of Brussels is asking 16 citizens to analyse and contribute to discussions around mobility in the Bois de la Cambre, the region's largest green lung.

A call for people to join the citizens' panel for the mobility study around the park and wooded area, which will diagnose the current mobility system, the development of traffic measures and the identification of necessary interventions that should be carried out in the area, followed by evaluations and recommendations, was launched on Tuesday.

"The panel should consist of a good mix of people. In its composition, attention is paid to a balance in terms of functions in the neighbourhood, gender, age and language role. The aim is to strengthen the study in the investigated perimeter," a statement from the city read.

In 2020, the city closed off vehicle access to the southern part of the green space. Supporters of the closure argued the existence of a virtual motorway in the middle of a city park was "nonsense in terms of health, safety, environmental concerns and peace and quiet," however, a court later ruled that this was unlawful, and the road must remain open.

While Uccle wants the park to remain open to cars, the City of Brussels wants to keep the Bois de la Cambre car-free.

Impartiality of study

The study aims to map traffic flows through and around the park and to analyse the impact of a full or partial traffic ban in the wood.

The panel should ensure the study in and around the park is objective and takes into account the needs of all road users, and represents a diverse audience when information is being passed on to key actors in the field who are involved in the park mobility policy.

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People can apply to take part in the panel, which is expected to "actively support each phase of this study" until 15 May 2022. The panel itself has a limited lifespan of one year, as long as the duration of the study, excluding the period for evaluation. Between May 2022 and February 2023, the group is expected to meet four to six times.

From cyclists to motorists

The panel's contributors should represent the people in the surveyed perimeter around Bois de la Cambre, including from Uccle, the city of Brussels, Ixelles and Watermael-Boitsfort.

People who don't live in the region, but live in surrounding areas, such as in Sint-Genesius-Rode and Linkebeek in Flanders, can also contribute.

Aside from their location, the selection process will also take into account the modes of transport they rely on. Ten people with multimodal or active modes of transport, including pedestrians or people with reduced mobility, cyclists and public transport users, as well as six motorists.

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