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Motorists file legal complaint against temporary cycle paths

18:27 09/10/2020

Mauto Défense, a Brussels non-profit organisation that defends the rights of motorists, is taking the region to court over the temporary cycle paths installed last spring during the corona crisis exit strategy. The organisation claims that the car lanes were converted to cycle lanes illegally.

Last May, Brussels announced that a number of lanes meant for vehicles on roads with two or more lanes going in one direction would be temporarily made into bicycle lanes. This was meant to make it easier for people to cycle around the capital during a period that has seen a surge in cycling.

The corona crisis is not yet over, so the cycle paths are still in place. Lucien Beckers of Uccle, who is behind Mauto Défense and its Facebook group L’automobiliste en a marre, says that there was no permit to create the lanes and that they belong to motorised vehicles.

“Mobility in Brussels has been focused on cyclists since the corona crisis started,” Beckers told Bruzz, “and it’s been at the expense of motorists. These cycle lanes were created without any discussion and without permits.”

Beckers’ organisation is claiming unfair competition and will submit their complaint next week in civil court. “The goal is to force the Brussels region to remove these so-called temporary cycle paths,” said Beckers. His Facebook group is followed by 20,000 people.

Photo ©Laurie Dieffembacq/BELGA

Written by Lisa Bradshaw



70% of public space in Brussels is already dedicated to the car. The goal is to de-clutter the streets. Motorists cannot have all that space at the expense of everybody else.

Oct 12, 2020 10:57
Frank Lee

Those bicycle lanes will be empty once the cold rainy days return.

Oct 12, 2020 15:37

The motorist ─ who pays a lot of tax, whereas cyclists don't ─ is systematically and mercilessly robbed and harassed by our governmentS.
Because that's popular nowadays, and they want to score votes, votes, votes!

Oct 12, 2020 15:54

What's even more irritating is that despite all this new infrastructure rolled out for their benefit, to say nothing of the 30kph speed limit on far too many major arterial roads the cyclists STILL insist on riding on the pavements and ignoring red lights!

Oct 13, 2020 18:17
John P

I've been driving cars and riding bicycles in Brussels since 1995, at least 6 to 10 months per year ( I spend time in other European cities as well).

To say that 70% of public space is dedicated to cars is total nonsense.
To say that this city is car friendly is also nonsense, at least since 1995.
The street system is made for bicycles and pedestrians because it forces cars to clock 2 or 3 times the distance necessary to go from point A to point B.
The major arteries are in reality small, clogged, village streets because at the end of the day that is the true low level of traffic throughput they can supply.
The problem is mostly poor flow design (streets going into traffic hot-spots and also coming out) and, very very poor traffic light coordination.

The ring, oh the ring! It surely seems to have been designed by sadistic people who love to sit behind R0 cameras and get their kicks out of watching choke points being created left and right even with light traffic loads.
i.e. Merging a fast moving left lane into the middle one twice(!!) within 1 kilometer and then, right there, at the worst instant possible, adding 2 lanes of on-ramp traffic to the mix is guaranteed to make for a Molotov. They surely can't be so super stupid, they are simply sadistic, pollution loving, accident obsessed, sociopaths!
Personal car transportation is fast becoming a class thing in Brussels just like the old (I mean old) days.. I foresee that soon enough, only those with a lot of money will be permitted to drive in the empty from little-people-cars streets of Brussels, those who will be able to afford high taxes, high insurance and traffic fines. Then all of the sudden, the officials will raise the speed limits for them because: "hey, look how few accidents and road deaths we have due to our perfect planning!".
Of course no one will admit that accidents and deaths will be much higher per circulating car than they ought to be, simply because the culprits are mostly other factors, but, you catch my drift.
As for cyclists, I will say next to nothing except for the new plague called electric bikes.
In Gods name people, you can not ride at full throttle, like bats out of hell, in a bike lane designed by someone and also, treated by all road users, as a human powered vehicle lane, wizz by at 30 km/hour and expect to come out of this unscathed. There is no way any car driver or passenger can predict that a 2 wheeled silent rocket will suddenly appear in a bike lane within less than 2 seconds from the last time they checked (especially uphill), before opening their door or doing a maneuver.
Fast moving e-bikes (they all move fast) should not be permitted in the bike lane. They should get a permit, pay taxes and ride like motorcycles in the mot- & car lane. Or, be capped at 20 km/h in flat or downhill mode and 15 km/h in uphill mode as well as much reduced acceleration rate by capping their torque.
As a cyclist I have been put in dangerous situations by e-bikes and e-scooters far too many more times than by motorists.

Oct 14, 2020 00:59