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Awareness campaign to improve safety in Brussels' pedestrian zone
The City of Brussels has launched a campaign to improve pedestrian safety in the city centre.
Called "No Excuses", it is aimed at people using bicycles, scooters or cars and consists of a checklist that the municipal authorities want people to keep in mind, especially in the pedestrian zone which is often crowded.
Instructions include: the pedestrian always has the right of way; adapt your speed and behaviour to other users, especially in busy areas; use extra caution when passing, crossing or changing direction; keep your eyes on the road and always be courteous to other road users.
Speaking of the pedestrian zone, the final transformation of the city centre is about to begin, with the redevelopment of Boulevard Adolphe Max and its attendant small streets.
The boulevard will not be a pedestrian zone, but it will be very pedestrian friendly with wider blue stone pavement, new (alder) trees, new lighting identical to that of the pedestrian zone, cycling paths, and a single lane for cars. It will also be on one level in order, with no raised pavements, to give it a semi-pedestrian appearance.
No refurbishing has been done to the street since the 1970s and the pavement is in poor condition and some of the trees are sick, so local merchants are looking forward to the execution of the plan.
Antonio, who invested six years ago in a designer clothing store, is pleased: "When you see Rue Neuve and the pedestrian area in De Brouckère and Bourse, it's a positive change.
"For me, the new pavement is essential, it will be more beautiful and cleaner. The single lane reserved for cars will mean that there will be less traffic and more space for visitors to the neighbourhood."
The preparatory work involving public works (Vivaqua, Sibelga and Proximus) will begin this October. Then the redevelopment project is due to start in June 2022 and last until the end of 2023.
"On Rue Neuve, during the works, the merchants had a tough time," said Ramazan, who has a snack shop on the boulevard. "Here, this will also be the case. Are we going to be compensated, knowing that we have already suffered from the Covid?"
Also redesigned will be the neighbouring streets: du Finistère, de la Fiancée, Pont Neuf, Saint Pierre and de Malines (between boulevard Emile Jacqmain and Adolphe Max).