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    “Shop & go’’ spots for free parking close to local shops

    © Belga
    © Belga

    The City of Brussels inaugurated Monday temporary parking spots which are free of cost for thirty minutes in three shopping streets of the center of the capital and of Laeken. According to liberal aldermen for parking Marion Lemesre and Els Ampe, these spots are inspired by a successful model set up in Courtrai, Braine-l’Alleud, La Louvière and Ostende. Their vocation is to support local trade.

    These so-called “intelligent’’ spots are equipped with captors, active from 9 am to 6 pm, which detect the presence of a vehicle. Should the vehicle not leave the space after half an hour, an audible signal is sent to agents of the city’s time stamp sector.

    The driver then risks being forced to pay a 25 euro fine — as of next week — after a tolerance period of several days.

    Three of these spots have been created in each of the three busy shopping arteries: Sainte-Catherine Street and the street which runs along the Grand Sablon, in the city center, as well as Marie-Christine Street, in Laeken. They are recognizable thanks to traffic signs and orange ground markings.

    This experiment will be evaluated within a few months, to see if it may be duplicated elsewhere in the city.

    Maria Novak
    The Brussels Times