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New cycle paths and veggie garden: Work on Boulevard Clovis starts this summer
Reconstruction work on Boulevard Clovis will begin this summer following the approval of all permits, the City of Brussels has announced.
The works include separate ochre-coloured cycling paths and a central square with vegetable gardens that will serve as a recreational gathering place.
In 2020, Belgian railway network manager Infrabel carried out work on the railway tunnel that runs underneath Boulevard Clovis, a busy thoroughfare linking Chaussée de Louvain with Ambiorix Square.
The street was ripped up in the process, creating an opportunity to rebuild it differently once the maintenance work was completed.
The public planning inquiry opened at the beginning of last year, with proposals to plant new trees, separate cycling paths from the road for increased safety and the addition of a central plaza with seating.
Complaints from local residents
But the latter two elements met with resistance from local residents, who submitted 680 comments during the inquiry. The consultation committee eventually gave a positive response but with several conditions, citing concerns that the plans were too modern for the surrounding area.
The Royal Commission on Monuments and Sites opposed the plans, but the region has since issued the permits for the redevelopment.
“Cycling in the city and respect for heritage can go hand in hand perfectly,” said Brussels state secretary for town planning and heritage Pascal Smet.
The final plan will renovate an area of more than 10,000 m². The footpaths along Boulevard Clovis will be widened to 2.5 metres, the separated cycling paths will be 1.8 metres wide.
The central plaza will be adorned by 16 benches, a footpath, plant beds and four collective vegetable garden zones.
After the reconstruction, the street will still have 51 parking spaces for cars, laid with cobblestones with open joints to improve water drainage. Between the parking spaces 33 trees will be planted. For cyclists, there’ll be 39 bicycle stands providing 78 parking places. Crossing points will be raised and the street lighting will also be improved.
The new recreational space will “boost biodiversity”
“In the past, the central reservation was an inaccessible grassy area that was mainly used by dogs and their owners,” said alderman Ans Persoons. “In the future, it will become a place for people to meet, to relax and play. The well thought-out greening of the central reservation and the 33 new trees will boost biodiversity and provide coolness and shade in the summer months.”
Persoons emphasised the significance of the road for non-vehicular traffic: “Boulevard Clovis is an important axis in the RER network for cyclists: they will soon be able to use it on a separate comfortable cycle path in ochre asphalt.”
The start of the refurbishing work, which should take 250 working days, is planned for 8 August.