Mayors Demand 30 km/h Speed Limit On Leopold II-laan For Safety

Editorial Team
Credit: Leopold-II-laan

The mayors of the western municipalities in Brussels are asking the region to urgently address the insecurity on Boulevard Leopold II after a series of painful accidents. “Limit the speed to 30 km per hour and adjust the traffic lights to each other.”

A cyclist who ends up under a car at Simonis, two people who are violently hit by a bus, regular congestion due to accidents: the mayors of Jette, Sint-Agatha-Berchem, Koekelberg, Ganshoren and Molenbeek are asking for traffic rules to be adjusted on the Boulevard Leopold II, between the Basilica of Koekelberg and the Yser Square. The many incidents require urgent measures, it says.

That is why the mayors wrote a joint letter to Elke Van den Brandt (Groen), as minister responsible for Mobility in Brussels, before the Christmas holidays.

According to Ahmed Laaouej (PS) van Koekelberg, the letter is yet another attempt at rapprochement. “I have been waiting for more than a year for concrete actions, so far without any results.” Laaouej consequently calls the situation “simply unacceptable.”

Christian Lamouline (Les Engagés) from Sint-Agatha-Berchem also shares the same incomprehension. “Danger zones need to be tackled. Isn’t that more than logical?”

‘Improvement in Sight in The Short Term’

Van den Brandt parries the criticism. For example, Ribeaucourt was already eliminated as a “black point” last year. “And in 2023, the reconstruction of Yser and Sainctelette is foreseen,” it says.

The cabinet also informs BRUZZ that the government has developed an orientation memorandum for the whole of the Leopold II-laan, “including separate cycling infrastructure”, it sounds. “So there will be improvement in the short term.”

Annie Cordy tunnel:
But a safer environment will not only be achieved through an adjustment of the infrastructure, the speed of car traffic must also be lower, the mayors say. The speed limit in the Annie Cordy tunnel and in the above-ground section on Leopold II-laan is 50 kilometers per hour today. 30 is better, it says. “Everywhere in Brussels, 30 kilometers per hour applies, but not on the busiest parts of the avenue,” says Laaouej. “That is confusing for the road user.”

Despite the criticism, Van den Brandt shares that concern. That is why the cabinet speaks of a “positive proposal”, certainly “particularly around the neighborhood of Simonis.”

To be able to enforce this quickly, the section control in the tunnel can be used, but then the cameras must work first. And that is currently not the case.

“All devices are installed,” the cabinet confirms. “It is only a matter of waiting for the approval of the mayors involved.”

Adjust Traffic Lights

Another critical point that urgently needs to be addressed, according to the mayors: the traffic lights. They are not correctly adjusted, which causes dangerous situations. And especially those at the beginning of the tunnel. “If the traffic light turns green for pedestrians, it is automatically green for drivers who want to enter the tunnel,” Jean-Paul Van Laethem (Les Engagés) van Ganshoren gives as an example.

Need For Global Plan

But it should not stop with those few measures, the mayors believe, the minister must come up with a global plan that tackles everything. And rather today than tomorrow.

According to the West police zone, 25 accidents took place last year on Leopold II-laan, between Simonisplein and IJzerplein. That is double compared to the year before, when there were 12.

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