Legal actions before the State Council relating to Brussels projects is becoming “a national sport.” The Brussels Alderman, Yvan Mayeur, stated on Friday, when a guest on the radio station La Première. “What purpose does it serve? I do not know. Is it really shopkeepers taking proceedings? It may be necessary to ask the question. In any case, this is not in their interests,” he considers.
“All of our projects are subject to such proceedings,” he indicated, when questioned following the negative opinion of the State Council auditor concerning the planning permission to redesign the boulevards in the centre. This area is being converted into pedestrian precincts. This opinion does not, however, consider the actual pedestrian. “It simply becomes a national sport, which I think is not always correct. We are, of course simply applying the law,” he added.
At the same time as this opinion, it was announced during a press conference on Thursday that the pedestrian area will remain as defined hitherto. The Place De Brouckère will also be redesigned in the same spirit as the pedestrian area and will remain accessible to cars on a traffic lane from Boulevard Emile Jacqmain and in a very limited way from the other way. Yvan Mayeur was thus delighted on Friday morning by the commitment of three levels of government to this project, “which is quite surprising in Belgium.”
A guest on Bel RTL Internet radio on Friday morning, Pascal Smet, the Brussels Minister for Transport, considered that the announcements made on Thursday were “positive”. However, he stressed that the time lag between the pedestrianisation decision and the beginning of the works was too long. “At the time we clearly stated that the time lag was too long but Brussels City Council decided to do it this way. On the other hand, it was not a bad idea to run a ‘pilot’ test,” he qualified. “Improvements have now been contributed to the project in terms of accessibility. I am very pleased that redesign works are moving forward.”
Now it is necessary to “in particular to look towards the future” and “undertake a campaign to explain to the inhabitants both within and outside of Brussels how they can get to public car parks. Brussels City Council must also make a pact with shopkeepers that they communicate well on the same page. (…) In the future everyone will see that this was a necessary stage for the city.”