BRUSSELS (Brussels Morning) – It took a while, but now it is finished: the circulation plan that should keep through traffic out of the Pentagon. The new traffic schedule is a compromise between the accessibility of the centre and the will to ban unnecessary cars. En passant, numerous small pedestrian zones are also created. “This has a revolutionary side.”
Brussels-City is one of the first six municipalities to work on a large car-free neighbourhood as part of the Good Move regional mobility plan. Over the past few weeks, Schaerbeek and Anderlecht have already presented the result of many months of thinking and meeting work. By 2030, the entire region must be tackled in this way.
Now it is the turn of the City of Brussels. The plan has been eagerly anticipated for some time. After all, a revolution for the Pentagon is one for all inhabitants and users of the region. Not only because everyone sometimes visits the centre, but also because a car-free heart of the city can also influence mobility choices beyond Brussels.
The plan goes into effect on August 16 and looks like a balancing act between two major goals. The first is to use loops, one-way streets and traffic filters (which do not allow passenger cars to pass) to ensure that through car traffic no longer has any business in the Pentagon. Today that traffic accounts for no less than 42 percent of the total. Less transit traffic should make the centre more livable.
The second ambition is to keep local traffic possible and to ensure that the loops from just now do not isolate the various neighbourhoods. Connections therefore remain, which often also have to keep the many underground car parks accessible.
However, the compromise between two goals also means that the circulation plan is not watertight for through traffic. For example, it will still be possible to cross the Pentagon from east to west in various ways (for example via the Wetstraat, the cathedral, the Wolvengracht and the Dansaertstraat).
Bicycle axis next to central avenues
The plan also includes a bicycle axis, which should ensure that two-wheelers pass through the Pentagon more easily from north to south. At busy times, this is currently not possible due to the pedestrian zone on the central avenues. The axis from Arteveldestraat to Lakensestraat will therefore be completely converted into a bicycle street . “There will be less car traffic than today, so a bicycle street there makes sense,” says Dhondt. The Hoogstraat and Blaesstraat will also become bicycle streets.