BRUSSELS (Brussels Morning) – Concrete blocks, Brussels is full of them. The Instagram page ‘mercyforthebrusselsjerseys’ is completely dedicated to mapping all concrete blocks in Brussels. Because with over 600 posts, that’s way too many.
You probably passed one more today. The concrete blocks in Brussels. Over time, they have become an increasingly important part of Brussels urban furniture. Most Brussels residents are no longer surprised. But once you start paying attention to them, you see them everywhere.
Concrete specialists distinguish two types of concrete blocks. You have the Legio, a concrete variant of the classic Lego block, and then there is the New Jersey, a concrete block with the profile of an inverted Y. And it is this ‘Jersey’ that Brussels is full of.
Via the Instagram page ‘mercyforthebrusselsjerseys’ people try to make other Brussels residents aware of the enormous volume of concrete blocks. “I actually never noticed it myself,” says Thijs, the brain behind the Instagram page. “It wasn’t until I had people visiting and pointing out that I started seeing them everywhere. And that was really an eye opener”.
The problem of concrete blocks in Brussels has been raised more than once. Originally, these blocks were used for work to demarcate a yard or to move the roadway. But today they are used for all sorts of reasons. Separating a bicycle lane, preventing wild parking or closing a road, you name it. Others sometimes last for years.
“What surprises me the most is how easily they are deployed. The city is increasingly using concrete blocks to correct behaviour,” Thijs continues. “Pretty dangerous situations are still being created, because the city is simply divided into squares”.
With more than 1,000 followers, the page has already attracted a reasonable audience. Yet Thijs tries not to be too negative on his Instagram page. “I always try to bring in some humour. Not to take it too seriously. In the end, I did find a new hobby”, says Thijs with a laugh.