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    Schaerbeek launches car-free streets during school hours

    Rue Vandenbussche will be one of two Schaerbeek streets that will shut down to vehicle traffic during start and end-of-school hours. Credit: Google Street View

    Two streets in the municipality of Schaerbeek will be blocked to vehicle traffic for parts of the day as of next week, in an effort by local officials to make trips to and from school safer.

    From Monday, no cars will be allowed in Rue Vandenbussche and Rue Josse Impens between 8:00 and 8:45 AM and between 3:15 and 4:00 PM, local mobility alderwoman Adelheid Byttebier announced, according to Bruzz.

    Byttebier said that the measure was key to ensure children and parents are guaranteed a safe route to school, adding that the initiative would also help reduce traffic jams and “honking at the school gate.”

    Both streets, located between Parc Josaphat and Avenue Rogier, were included in the initiative after suggestions from schools and daycares in the area.

    The initiative follows inspections carried out before the summer which Byttebier said revealed that out of over 700 children counted, around a quarter are brought to school by car.

    “Three quarters [are brought] in public transport, on foot or by bike,” she said.

    An open call launched for more potential school-streets saw fourteen schools and daycare centres respond, some of which will perhaps be tested in the coming months, the alderwoman said.

    In June, authorities in central Brussels said they were piloting the same initiative in two streets located in the Saint-Catherine and Dansaert districts of the city, citing the success of a similar project in Molenbeek.

    Gabriela Galindo
    The Brussels Times