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    Transport minister considers Car-free Sunday a success

    © Belga
    The huge success of the 17th Car-free Sunday is leading to calls for other similar events.
    © Belga

    Pascal Smet (sp.a), the Brussels Transport Minister, said yesterday that he was extremely satisfied with the capital’s 17th Car-free Sunday. He indicated, “This sunny day has enabled thousands of cyclists, walkers and skaters to explore the capital. By being here, they have made today a celebration. It is as if Brusselers have made this day a real celebration of everything that is Brussels. A living, indeed festive, city with the human at the heart of the city. Car-free Sunday entirely demonstrates that a car-free city is an animated and pleasant city.”

    The 2017 Car-free Sunday proved an extremely successful event. Large numbers of the public, including many cyclists and families with children, came to relish the day, which passed off without any significant incident. Pascal Smet explained, “We have the sense that the Brussels population completely supports Car-free Sunday, corresponding to the longing for a city which is better designed for cyclists and pedestrians.” 

    He went on, “Moreover, there is a high demand for other similar days to be organised during the year. Last year, we requested that the Brussels Parliament organised a participatory debate on the issue but this request was not actioned. We are going to make our own concrete proposals, so that several further car-free days per year can be organised in this parliament.”

    With the so-called “Village of 200 Years of Cycling”, the “Retro Parade”, the Brussels Bike Show, the “Fête Guinguette Kring”, the Slow Party and even the Brussels Country Fair, Brussels has indeed celebrated 200 years of cycling in numerous ways.

    Several thousand people went to the Mobilmix party on the Porte de Namur roundabout, and thousands of others visited the city on foot, by bicycle or using public transport. The third sector organisation, Cyclo, carried out 800 more repairs than last year, using the free hotline during yesterday’s event.

    Christopher Vincent
    The Brussels Times