The latest phase of the Capital Region's 'Good Move' traffic plan to make neighbourhoods largely car-free by keeping out through traffic is coming into effect today in the Brussels municipalities of Schaerbeek and Ixelles.
By implementing circulation plans per municipality, the Brussels regional government aims to prioritise pedestrians and cyclists over cars in the capital's streets and limit through traffic by using traffic loops, snips and one-way streets.
In the Ixelles municipality, the changes are limited and the bulk of changes in the Ixelles-Ponds in Flagey won't be introduced until May 2023. Still, drivers will already notice some changed traffic situations.
The main intervention will take place in Rue Gray, where partial one-way traffic will be introduced under the Pont Gray-Couronne, meaning cars will no longer be able to drive from Rue Kerckx to Rue des Deux Ponts.
This makes driving from Place Flagey to Place Jourdan via Rue Gray no longer possible. In the rest of the street, two-way traffic remains. "Cyclists, buses and taxis will still be allowed in both directions under the Pont Gray-Couronne," city councillor for Mobility Yves Rouyet clarified.
"The intervention is coming mainly for the safety of cyclists," he said. "The passage under the Pont Gray-Couronne is too narrow for the smooth passage of motorists and cyclists, who have to ride too close to the pavement."
Several other small changes are taking effect on Monday though the biggest are scheduled for May 2023 at which point traffic will no longer be able to drive around Place Flagey. However, residents have started a petition asking that an east–west passage remains open.
Schaerbeek – one of the first Brussels municipalities to start making changes to its circulation plan – is now implementing the third and final phase of its plans in the Cage-aux-Ours district. This is in spite of protests by some 80 residents during the previous municipal council.
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"By this Monday evening, all legal signage will be in place. Additional road markings will follow on Tuesday and Wednesday," announced city councillor for mobility Adelheid Byttebier.
Transit traffic will be limited on Place Stephenson and Place du Pavillon and more space will be given to vulnerable road users, while Rue Stephenson will become a one-way street. "Over time, we will also make Place Stephenson greener," Byttebier added.
Pieter Fannes, spokesperson for Heroes for Zero, welcomed the intervention. He said that "Rue Stephenson is a thoroughfare for heavy traffic. Almost 1,000 trucks pass here every day. From today, that shortcut is no longer possible."
The traffic filter on Place de Pavillon is also a good thing for the children who go to school in the area. "Every day, the children attending this school risk their lives. 80% of them come by foot. The filters at Place Stephenson and Place du Pavillon are the answer."
Drivers coming from Schaerbeek towards the North Quarter or the city centre will be directed towards Boulevard Lambermont along the canal from now on. The works for other important changes, such as one-way traffic in Avenue Maréchal Foch, are not planned until the start of next year.