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Record number of cyclists recorded in Brussels in one day
A record number of cyclists in Brussels were counted in a single day last week, Thursday 1 June, according to figures released this week from the Brussels Bike Count digital counters.
At least 50,000 cyclists were counted over the 24-hour period on 1 June, the highest number counted in Brussels so far.
But while the record is a first, the trend is not new: every month this year saw more bikes counted than the year before.
In May, more than 1.1 million cyclists were counted in Brussels compared to 1 million during the same period last year.
The Brussels Bike Count digital counters have measured record after record since their full installation in 2021.
“Cycling has become commonplace in Brussels in all population groups,” said Inge Paemen of Brussels Mobility, noting that the recent dry weather along with new bike lanes has contributed to an increase in cycling, along with more electric bikes on the market.
The busiest traffic axis for cyclists this year so far is Rue de la Loi, which sees almost 800,000 cyclists per year spread over the two counting points on the street.
Next most popular is the cycle path along the canal, which sees almost 650,000 cyclists annually. In third place is the cycle path along the inner ring road with almost 600,000 cyclists.
The number of cyclists is on the rise in all of Belgium, but in Brussels the evolution is the greatest according to the latest report from the federal commuting survey. There, the number of people choosing to cycle to work is almost five times higher than in 2005.
Still, Flanders remains in the lead when it comes to choosing to cycle, with as many as one in five workers cycling to work.
Paemen said people in Brussels would be motivated by a few things, including “continuing to invest in infrastructure so that cyclists feel comfortable, and more respect from road users for each other. This is not just about complying with traffic regulations, but also about courtesy and respect.”
In the last legislature, 50km of additional cycle tracks were constructed, according to the office of mobility minister Elke Van den Brandt (Groen).
Joining them soon will be a permanent two-way cycle path on Rue de la Loi. A temporary one was introduced during the pandemic and saw substantial use – enough to make it a permanent fixture.
The bike lanes will be constructed in two directions along part of Rue de la Loi over a length of about 850m.
In the longer term, the Brussels region plans a more thorough reconstruction of the entire street, at which point the northern side of the road should also get a full bike lane.