BRUSSELS (Brussels Morning) – Since March 2021, tram passengers in the City of Brussels can get on and off at the renovated Jules de Trooz stop on Koninginnelaan. They must be careful not to be hit by passing cars at the so-called podium stop. The STIB wants to remove the stop in due course and merge it with the Masui stop.
Travellers who regularly board tram 3, 93 or 62 may have already noticed the changed traffic situation at the Jules de Trooz stop on Koninginnelaan. During the redevelopment of the area, the tram stop was transformed into an innovative ‘stage stop’ where the road for cars lies between the waiting area and the tram rails.
At the stop, the tram tracks will sink below the level of the roadway. The waiting area on the sidewalk is at the same level as the road, so boarding the tram can in principle be done without differences in level. At other tram stops without a platform along the tracks (such as on Koningsstraat in the city center) there is a difference in level.
This feels illogical to many users, because the layout makes it seem that they can also wait on the road for the tram. However, they are constantly faced with honking cars and ringing cyclists, who do not understand why the tram passengers stop right in front of their vehicle.
The situation also feels very counterintuitive for the drivers present. Dealers in the area testify to cars that regularly ‘fall’ from the elevated facility. We also hear testimonials from people who were hit at the stop. Especially in the evening, drivers drive at very high speed, startling the tram passengers.
New stop Masui
The situation is not ideal, confirms transport company STIB. Additional signs have already been installed to help clarify the situation. In the longer term, the stop will probably disappear again, the STIB said. Last February a planning application was submitted to make the Jules de Trooz and Masui stops a little further down one stop. That application will soon be examined by Brussels Mobility.
According to the new planning application, the ‘stage stop’ will disappear again if traffic permits. A new ‘hourglass stop’ would then be located at the height of the newly created Zenne Park. This means a stop where the bed and the roadway are merged, in order to be able to construct a wider platform. Traffic lights must give way to trams. The first example of this is on Avenue Rogier in Schaerbeek.
A public inquiry will soon follow to clarify the future of the bus stop in Koninginnelaan.