Brussels has significantly increased its investment in cycling infrastructure and equipment so as to encourage people to travel by bicycle and will continue to invest in this area, the city’s Deputy Mayor in charge of Mobility and Public Works, Els Ampe (Open Vld party), said on Friday at a press conference.
Since early 2013, the city added 22 km of bicycle paths, an increase of 60%, installed 375 more bike racks (+37%) and built 19 boxes throughout the city to keep them safe, according to Ms Ampe, who said that by the end of the current legislature, other infrastructure of this nature will be installed, including four cycle boxes due next year, in response to requests made by the population.
The budget allocated each year to promoting travel by cycle has tripled since the start of the legislature, going from 20,000 euros to 60,000 euros. This money has been used primarily to raise awareness among young children in schools, through training provided by the non-profit Pro Velo organization, which has been granted a subsidy to that effect.
Next year the cycle-path network is expected to include an additional 3 km of raised tracks, mainly in the streets of Laeken, such as Drève Saint-Anne or Rue Dieudonné Lefèvre, a street perpendicular to the Avenue du Port, which is in equally poor shape.
For Ms. Ampe, investing in cycle travel has borne fruit as evidenced by the ever growing number of cyclists in the region over the past few years. In and around the city center, including the pedestrian street set up in the central boulevards last year, the number of riders during the morning rush hour has doubled.