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Laeken Park to be permanently closed to traffic

19:02 12/05/2020

Laeken Park is now officially car-free, following a year-long period of blocking the streets that run through the park to traffic. The cement blocks currently on the site will be replaced with something more permanent, according to Brussels-City mobility councillor Bart Dhondt (Groen).

“The city council has decided to close the three entrances to the park to traffic,” Dhondt told Bruzz. “Osseghem Park and Laeken Park will then become one big green space.”

Avenue du Gros Tilleul runs along the edge of the park, separating it from Osseghem Park and providing a connection between Avenue de Madrid and Boulevard du Centenaire. But some years ago, it was decided to block this route to traffic during the summer months.

Last summer, Dhondt decided to keep the blockade in place in order to stop some drivers who were using the park’s lanes as racing strips. The agreement on whether and how to block access permanently was still under discussion, but the green and socialist city coalition have now made a deal – sped up by the corona crisis and the desire to create more green space.

“We plan to remove the cement blocks and replace them with another physical barrier,” said Dhondt. The royal family lives in part of Laken Park, so “we need to take into consideration that police cars must still have access. In the pedestrian zone, there are passages for vehicles that must access the area, so we could create something like that here, too.”

In any case, the city wants to have something in place as quickly as possible. “The need for public space right now is really crucial. It’s our intention to have this ready before July.”

Image courtesy Google

 

Written by Lisa Bradshaw