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Cars barred from Saint-Gilles street during school hours

Rue de la Source, in Saint-Gilles, will shut down to car traffic for parts of the day. Credit: Google Street View

A street in Saint-Gilles will shut down to cars during school hours, in a bid by the municipality to improve air quality and road safety and to push for the creation of car-less neighbourhoods.

Rue de la Source, where an elementary school is located, will shut down to vehicle circulation from Monday, making the first so-called school street in Saint-Gilles, after similar streets were unveiled in Schaerbeek and in Brussels 1000.

By closing down the street, located near Chaussée de Charleroi and Avenue Louise, two roads which see heavy vehicle and tramway traffic during rush hours, authorities aim to make it safer for children coming to or leaving school.

The initiative is also part of larger ambitions by municipal authorities to phase out vehicles from some neighbourhoods in Saint-Gilles in the future.

“In the coming years, I wish to work with regional authorities on car-less neighbourhoods, and give particular attention to pedestrians and cyclists,” municipal alderwoman for mobility, Catherine Morenville said, according to BX1.

“The creation of a school street is part of this plan of boosting green mobility,” she added.

From Monday, the street will be shut down every day from 8:30 to 8:50 AM and from 3:25 to 3:45 PM, with the exception of Wednesday, where it will only shut down for 20 minutes from 12:25 PM.

Only street residents will be able to drive a car in the street during those hours, and they will have to drive at low speed.

Morenville said that in Rue de la Source would act as a test and that in three months’ time, the initiative would be reevaluated if necessary.

Gabriela Galindo
The Brussels Times