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'Picnic the Bridge' calls for fewer cars around Porte de Flandre

Picnic the Street - Brussels citizens call to ban cars at Porte de Flandre-Vlaamseport
18:50 26/09/2022

Around 70 people gathered on Sunday for ‘Picnic the Bridge’, calling for a car-free environment near Porte de Flandre, reports RTBF and Bruzz.

The bridge over the Brussels Canal to the west of the city, was filled with activists, associations and traders, all calling for the bridge to be off-limits to vehicles. Local residents complain that there is a major problem at the site.

Cathrijn, who took part in the protest with her eight-year-old son, said daily traffic was a nightmare. “The intersection is often at a standstill at around rush hour, which means that we then have to zigzag between cars and bikes with the pram.”

So far, the recent introduction of the Good Move plan has not reduced the number of cars circulating in the busy neighbourhood.

Groen party chair Nadia Naji supports the call to ban cars from the bridge. She sees the proposal as a viable option to tackle the growing traffic problem. Flemish MP and Brussels city municipal councillor Els Ampe, though, is not so keen and suggests that expanding the metro network would take more cars off the road.

The citizens' action is inspired by the ‘Picnic the streets’ campaign that helped increase pedestrianisation in Belgium some 10 years ago. And it’s hoping to achieve a similar success.

Photo: © Belga/Rachelle Dufour

Written by Louis Kernoa-Pascoe