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In figures: Who are Brussels' cyclists?

07:27 09/02/2018

Two-thirds of cyclists in Brussels are men - and half of bike users in the city ride without a helmet.

Those are some of the findings from the 2017 report by the Observatoire du Vélo, which 28,151 cyclists on the roads last year.

In 2016, there was a major increase in the number of cyclists recorded after many people opted to stay away from public transport following the terrorist attacks.

Among the people who took up cycling for the first time in 2017, about 70% were previously public transport users and 20% ditched their cars for two wheels. Most of the new cyclists on the streets last year were aged between 25 and 39.

Some 64.1% of cyclists were men, 34.1% women, and 1.8% children.

Some of the busiest roads were Mérode with an average of 688 cyclists an hour and Rue de la Loi with 651 an hour.

According to the Brussels Environment, many of the bicycle parking areas near metro stations are becoming too cluttered. With some parking spaces at more than 80% capacity, the city needs to enlarge these areas, allowing more bicycles to be chained up for the day.

Written by Molly Dove


J C Hill

I notice that there is no mention of the fact that a ridiculous number of cyclists use no lights at night, no reflective clothing and seem to think that traffic lights and other rules of the road do not apply to them. Sadly, the police do nothing to improve this situation, but car drivers get the blame when there are accidents!

Feb 9, 2018 17:23

Totally agree with JC Hill. I would admire cyclists EXCEPT I see them run the red lights (cars not allowed to do it), weave in and out of traffic (motorcycyclists do it and very annoying), do not give turn signals (cars are supposed to and generally do), ride on the sidewalk (cars not allowed to do it), text while cycling (car drivers not allowed to do this), wear headphones and earphones while cycling (I don't think car drivers are allowed to do this), and do not always have a bright/color reflective jacket/vest at night and/or have lights on when dusk/night (cars are required to have lights on). So cyclists, if you want to continue this great mode de vie and transport, you have to abide by the rules. But, as we all know in BXL, anything goes so cycling can go unabated and unregulated. We the driver has to live with themselves, and perhaps suffer punishment, if they hit a cyclist when the latter did not follow the rules of the road.

Feb 9, 2018 19:29
Timothy Cooper

The majority of both car drivers and cyclists are generally courteous road users, but systematically fail to comply with a few rules of the road and occasionally do something silly. A minority of both car drivers and cyclists are reckless: the reckless cyclists mostly just put their own lives at risk, whereas the reckless motorists also endanger other road users. Of course cyclists should use lights at night; obey traffic lights; give turn signals when they can do so safely; and ride on the cycle track or cycle lane if there is one and it is sufficiently well maintained to be safe, or otherwise on the road, but not on the pavement/sidewalk (unless they are young children). It is also advisable, but not a legal requirement, for cyclists to wear brightly coloured and/or reflective clothing. However, motorists should likewise abstain from drinking and driving, or using a mobile phone while driving; comply with speed limits; avoid parking on pavements/sidewalks, pedestrian crossings and cycle lanes; leave a safe gap (at least a metre) when overtaking a cyclist; and avoid encroaching on the space reserved for cyclists at traffic lights (advanced stop lines). Whether you are a motorist or a cyclist, please stop blaming other categories of road user for all the woes, and reconsider your own behaviour. A little more courtesy, and a willingness to forgive other road users for silly mistakes and minor infringements of traffic rules would be a good start. Of course, better police enforcement of serious law-breaking would also be useful, but that’s another story.

Feb 13, 2018 12:38