Brussels Minister of Mobility Pascal Smet was not well received by shop owners of the high-end shopping Sablon neighbourhood, who asked him to leave as he was campaigning for the upcoming elections.
The owner of Wittamer, a famous luxury bakery in the area, reportedly asked Smet to leave his establishment, as he is opposed to the minister’s plans to make the neighbourhood less accessible to vehicle traffic, according to La Libre.
“It’s scandalous to come and promote a plan he knows we do not want,” bakery owner Paul Wittamer told La Capital, after Smet was spotted campaigning in the area on Saturday.
Shop owners in Sablon fear that their businesses will suffer if vehicle traffic becomes restricted in the area.
Smet, who has spearheaded several redevelopment projects to transform some of Brussels’ most traffic-heavy zones into pedestrian havens, is a well-known enthusiast of a car-free Brussels and often takes to Twitter to promote his projects under the hashtag: #BrusselsforPeople.
Recently, Smet has unveiled plans to pedestrianise the European quarter’s busy Schuman roundabout, as well as the popular shopping zone around the city’s Avenue Louise.
Imagine what Brussels’ traffic would look like if users of public transport, pedestrians and cyclist would also be in cars…The more people we get out of their cars the more space we’ll have for parks, squares, playgrounds and quieter roads. #BrusselsForPeople (?Strößenreuther) pic.twitter.com/8vl6cxFI23