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Cycle path test to eliminate two lanes on Avenue de Tervuren, Woluwe mayor furious
The Brussels-Capital Region and Flanders’ De Werkvennootschap, responsible for improvements to the Brussels Ring Road (R0), are testing a potential plan to eliminate two of the four lanes on Avenue de Tervuren in Woluwe-Saint-Pierre.
A test phase is planned from August to October that will see the four lanes of traffic on Avenue de Tervuren at the Quatre Bras de Tervuren interchange reduced to two – one in each direction. This will create space for a two-way bicycle path to be developed.
The Quatre Bras de Tervuren is on the border between Flanders and Woluwe-Saint-Pierre and connects the R0 to Avenue de Tervuren. That avenue is a major artery that runs through Woluwe-Saint-Pierre to Etterbeek to Brussels-City, ending at Cinquantenaire Park.
“We want to build a cycle bridge over the Quatre Bras de Tervuren,” explained Marijn Struyf of De Werkvennootschap, “but that wouldn’t be very smart if there’s no cycling infrastructure on the other side.”
The idea is to make it easier for people to cycle into Brussels via Avenue de Tervueren. But there are no cycle paths on this part of the avenue. The test phase would see the lanes heading out of Brussels closed to traffic and made into a two-way cycle path. One of the two lanes heading into Brussels would be reversed.
“The idea is to free up two of the lanes and create quality cycling infrastructure,” Struyf continued. “Brussels mobility minister Elke Van den Brandt is in support of this plan.”
But the mayor of Woluwe-Saint-Pierre is not. “An enormous amount of traffic will take to our neighbourhoods to try to escape the tailbacks,” Benoit Cerexhe (CDH) told La Libre Belgique. “Driving apps will send motorists through the side streets.”
Two lanes becomes one if Flanders gets its way
He goes one step further, accusing Flanders of trying to “isolate” Brussels. “Give me another reason why Flanders wants to widen the Ring Road but shrink the access to Brussels? This fits in perfectly with the Flemish government’s strategy to isolate Brussels.” He went on to say that the Brussels regional government was “naïve” and is “falling into a trap”.
The situation shouldn’t be as dramatic as all that, according to Struyf, because there will still be two lanes in each direction for the first 200 metres. “Observation has shown us that four lanes are needed as a buffer zone as traffic slows up on the interchange,” he said. “After 200 metres, one lane in each direction should be sufficient for motorised traffic. This test phase did not come out of nowhere; it is backed up with data.”
He also said that the test taking place from August to October is not set in stone. There has been some concern that summer travel and the corona crisis will mean that there will be less traffic in August, for instance. “It’s possible it will be postponed to next year when traffic has returned to normal. But there will at some point be a test phase.”
Photos courtesy Google