SP.A proposes one-way plan for Brussels streets

Summary

Brussels parliament member Jef Van Damme (SP.A) has proposed radical changes for the streets of Brussels, including making many of them one-way so tram lines and cycle paths could take up part of the street

Commuters would enter Brussels on some roads and leave on others

The Flemish socialist party wants to turn Brussels’ main thoroughfares into one-way streets to ease the city’s chronic traffic congestion and make it more liveable. Brussels parliament member Jef Van Damme said that radical solutions were needed to tackle traffic congestion in the capital.

SP.A’s plan would affect the main roads into Brussels, known as steenwegen. These are often congested due to commuter traffic, making it difficult for buses and bicycles to use them. Van Damme says that the socialist proposal to reduce cars to one lane would make it easier to lay down tram lines, bus lanes and cycle paths. “This would encourage a lot of Brussels residents to leave their cars at home,” he said. “So we would be able to decrease pollution and improve the quality of life.”

Under the plan, streets such as the Waversesteenweg and the Ninoofsesteenweg would bring traffic into the centre, while the Leuvensesteenweg and the Bergensesteenweg would take traffic out of the city.

The party also proposes the creation of about 10 new pedestrian areas in districts such as Louiza, South Station and the area between Schumanplein and Luxemburgplein. The most ambitious plan is to create a four-kilometre pedestrian route to connect North Station with the Dansaert quarter and Molenbeek. “This would be the longest pedestrian shopping street in Europe,” said Van Damme.

The politician admits that Brussels already has ambitious plans to solve the traffic problem, but they are long-term strategies. “We can’t wait another decade for a new metro line,” he said. “It’s better to go for affordable projects that will bring immediate improvements.” 

www.brusselsmobility.be

Flemish socialist party SP.A proposes one-way plan for Brussels streets.

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Traffic in Flanders

Thousands of commuters and foreigners pass through Brussels and Flanders each day, and the two regions have suffered from heavily congested traffic and long and frequent traffic jams for years – with no end seemingly in sight.
Record - According to the 2013 report from traffic information platform Inrix, Brussels and Antwerp have the most traffic congestion of any city in Europe and North America.
Calendar - October is the worst month of the year for traffic jams.
Causes - Year after year, heavy snowfall and railway strikes lead to monster traffic jams. Heavy congestion, infrastructure works and multi-lane accidents cause the more ordinary daily tailbacks.
1 285

largest area covered in traffic ever recorded in Belgium in kilometres

70

time Antwerp drivers spend in gridlock per year in hours

10 000

traffic diversions in Flanders per year