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Jette mayor and city councillor don seasonal apparel to deliver petition
The mayor of Jette, Hervé Doyen (CDH), and the municipality’s city councillor for the environment, Claire Vandevivere, handed over a petition today against the widening of the Brussels ring road R0. What seemed like a mundane task, however, was rather a hit with local media as the pair showed up in Santa suits.
Doyen and Vandevivere – the latter of whom is taking the former’s job as of February – arrived at the Flemish mobility minister’s cabinet with a petition signed by 6,350 concerned citizens. Jette is worried about the state of the Laarbeek forest as Flanders goes ahead with plans to add lanes and further restructure the R0.
“Our first goal was to save the forest, a protected nature reserve, and there we were successful,” Vandevivere told Bruzz. “But even though the forest is not directly threatened under the current plan, there will be an enormous construction site that will last for 10 years, putting a lot of pressure on this already fragile woodland.”
The city council and residents are most worried about the construction of a new motorway interchange that would be situated next to the Jetse Tuinen neighbourhood. “Thousands of people live there, there are schools, day-care centres and a hospital,” said Vandevivere. “Every measure taken that increases the amount of traffic there has major consequences for the health of many, many people.”
Further, the city council is against the elimination of exit 8 “because that will lead to more traffic in a Jette neighbourhood that is already clogged by commuters during rush hours”. City councillors also question plans to widen the ring road to 10 or 12 lanes, which they say is in direct contrast to Brussels’ efforts to limit cars coming into the capital and to combat climate change.