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Brussels sees rise in popularity of cycling in 2021

05:47 28/01/2022

The number of cyclists in the Belgian capital continued to rise in 2021, growing by 20% following an increase of 64% in the pandemic year of 2020.  

About 4.6 million bicycle trips were registered in 2020, as tallied by counting stations installed at various locations in the Brussels-Capital region compared to 5.5 million last year. 

A counting station along the canal in Molenbeek was the first to pass the one million mark on 20 December.

Such an increase was not expected, as even prior to the pandemic annual growth rates remained around 13% on average. Flemish Brabant, in fact, saw a drop in the number of cyclists counted there last year compared to a record-setting 2020.

That year was also particularly popular for cyclists in Brussels, but the trend continued into 2021. In addition to high cycling traffic for the canal in Molenbeek, the rue de la Loi and the boulevard Général Jacques, near the VUB, proved to be particularly busy spots for bicylists.

The rise in figures comes despite some technical issues with recording counts at various stations, including ones along the rue de la Loi.

At the Quai aux Charbonnages in Molenbeek, the number of cycling trips rose by 13% compared to 2020.

A 40% increase in the number of crossings (630,000 compared to 450,000 in 2020) was recorded at the VUB, along the Boulevard Général Jacques (towards Montgomery). In the other direction, almost 400,000 cyclists were counted, representing an increase of 17%.

Brussels Mobility publishes the counts on an open data site, and the Twitter account Brussels Bike Count publishes a “top three” every day. 

Written by Helen Lyons