Half of Flemish cycle paths fail to meet regulations as cycling traffic rises

Half of Flemish cycle paths fail to meet regulations as cycling traffic rises
Recent investments announced for cycling infrastructure have gone to the construction of new bridges or tunnels, which can face lengthy expropriation procedures. Credit: Belga

Half of all Flemish cycle paths do not meet the standards set by the regional government, according to a report on the state of bicycle paths released as the number of cyclists in Flanders rises sharply.

According to 2017 figures in the report, released by the Flemish Agency for Roads and Traffic, 56% of all cycle paths built along regional roads are not in compliance with regulations, in particular regarding the width of the paths and their distance from the motorway, according to De Morgen.

The report gives a score of “bad” to “very bad” to four out of every ten cycle paths in Flanders, with the agency saying that they were working on updating the standards, as they are rapidly outpaced by the growing bicycle traffic in the region.

More than one in ten employees in Flanders cycle to work, according to HLN, in figures that have doubled in the past five years.

The new report comes as the number of new bicycle roads built in the region declines, going from 333 kilometres added in 2011 to 108 kilometres last year.

The agency’s report also follows significant investments announced for the cycling infrastructure in the region, most of which has been funnelled into constructing necessary infrastructure to improve the network, such as more expensive tunnels or bridges, instead of roads, but the results of the investments have been slow-moving, as they encounter lengthy expropriation procedures.

Gabriela Galindo
The Brussels Times

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