Rue Belliard to replace one of its lanes with dedicated cycling lane
The four lanes of Brussels thoroughfare Rue Belliard will go down to three in order to make room for widened sidewalks and bike lanes on each side, facilitating safer and easier access for both pedestrians and cyclists.
The initiative is a pilot project designed to test the impact of such a measure on vehicle traffic, and a similar experiment is being done at Place Montgomery at the end of Avenue de Tervueren, Bruzz reports.
“To this day, there is a great imbalance in the distribution of public space on Belliardstraat,” Brussels Minister of Mobility Elke Van den Brandt (Groen) said in a statement.
“Cyclists and pedestrians have to compete for scarce space there, alongside a four-lane road. But this is an important approach road for cyclists and pedestrians.”
The test installations will determine the traffic impact prior to being made permanent.
“In April 2019, we took an important first step for Rue Belliard by removing a lane and providing separated bike lanes, from five to four lanes, with no real difficulties for traffic,” said State Secretary for Urban Planning Pascal Smet (one.brussels-Vooruit).
“With this new test phase on three lanes, we are taking an important additional step.”
Additional lane closures related to construction
Between 28 February and 4 March, concrete blocks will be moved and markings will be adjusted. The two left-hand lanes between the inner ring road and Rue Van Maerlant will be closed during the construction, while the two right-hand lanes remain available.
In addition to the wider cycling path, pedestrians will be able to count on more space. Almost four metres will become available on the right-hand side of the road, which will facilitate access for people with strollers or in wheelchairs.
If the test goes well, the intention is to keep the new situation and make it the starting point for a definitive reconstruction of Rue Belliard.
Changes to Place Montgomery
Place Montgomery will also experience changes to traffic this spring. The existing bicycle path on the service road will be extended so that cyclists can ride around the entire square on a two-way bicycle path.
On the square itself, the inner lane on the side of the fountain will be removed and a bicycle suggestion lane (note: an ochre path without white markings, on which cars can also drive if no cyclists are present) will be created on the outer lane.
Construction work will be carried out from Friday evening 25 February 20:00 until Wednesday morning 1 March 6:00, during which time Place Montgomery will be completely closed to traffic, except for trams.
Pavements will remain accessible and alternate routes will be provided for all other means of transport.
It would seem to me that there is already plenty of space for both making a propper pavement and a wide sidewalk, if the space was used to its full extent. The bigger problem is actually the state of the pavement, which is quite misserable.
And that there was no effect on traffic when one lane was taken in 2019 is just not true. Having to join Belliard on the way home from the office my journey time nearly doubled because of this one measure. As if work-life balance doesn't also count for quality of life of people.