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Nearly 50,000 sign petition against Brussels’ new 30kph zone

15:50 04/01/2021

Nearly 50,000 people have signed the petition against the new 30kph zone in the Brussels region. The new speed limit, which covers 85% of the roads in the capital, came into force on 1 January.

The region has ushered in the new traffic law to improve air quality, cut down on noise pollution and prevents accidents. Some neighbourhoods, such as in Koekelberg and Schaerbeek, have seen several pedestrian deaths in recent years due to speeding traffic.

Brussels authorities studied the effects of the same measure in other world cities, such as Grenoble, Oslo and Bilbao. All saw a reduction in road deaths and serious injuries. In Helsinki, deaths and serious injuries have dropped by two-thirds since the 30kph zone was introduced.

The petition on Change.org was started by someone called Dorian Van Peteghem, who offers no information about themselves. “Stop the Zone 30, a project that is completely insane,” it reads. “Drivers should be punished, not all citizens! Justice does not work in Belgium and so we use grand gestures instead. But this is not a solution; it further paralyses Brussels, where public transport is inefficient!”

The petition lists several recipients to whom it will be addressed, including federal road safety agency Vias and Brussels mobility minister Elke Van den Brandt.

Previously, some 60% of the streets in the capital were subject to a 30kph speed limit. That figure is now 85%, but there are exceptions, such as so-called liveable streets, where speed limits can be as low as 20, and major arteries, where it can be as high as 70.

Drivers should assume that the maximum speed is 30  unless otherwise indicated. The new regulation applies to all vehicles, including bikes and buses, but not to trams.

Photo ©Virginie Lefour/BELGA

Written by Lisa Bradshaw

Comments

Harrywolve

Brussels Puhlic Transport might not be the best, but it is very efficient, indeed. I guess that this guy never tried public transport.

As a resident of Brussels, I appreciate the 30 kph approach. Brussels is suffocating in Cars and finally somebody does something against it.

Most people who complain live outside the city or in its wealthy suburbs. They don't have to swallow the dirt of their cars on a regular basis.

Jan 5, 2021 04:20
Milesfromhere

It is the selfishness of car drivers that gets me. The biggest obstacle to the greater efficiency of buses and trams in the city is the sheer number of cars blocking key arteries. A single occupant in a car can easily slow down the journey time for 40 people on a bus. Give me a break with your inefficiency wailing about Brussels public transport. Bring on 20 kph for cars I say!

Jan 5, 2021 09:31
danbruylandt

30km/h = BULLSHIT !

Jan 6, 2021 02:53
keltis99

1. cars/engines are not designed to go 30. they emit more CO2 and other harmful substances at that low speed (1-2 gear). the minister admitted it.
2. the public transport is even less efficient at 30. Have you seen those crawling buses? Just look at nr-71 - its a joke. i could walk faster sometimes.
3. there is a clear division bw those having a car and not (60-40 in bxl). if you are only on your bike you will never understand how annoying it is to drive at 30. Btw electric bikes reach 35 easily these days...who is breaking speed limits then?
4. before 30-reform average speed in Brussels was 37...Its a small difference (i know opposition will cry difference of 5 can mean life or death blah blah but i disagree that BXL had a significant road safely issue before hand. i drive here for 10+ years). there were bad apples but the rest of drivers should not pay.
5. the biggest problem that such a radical speed reform shows how disconnected govt is from the bxl people. they pushed the law without any serious debate (e.g. referendum/serious survey)... 58k people signing a petition in 5 days is a serious signal to this govt. that wants to push through reforms in a lockdown environment when people can not protest properly.
6. All this smells like a wish to put a mouthguard on the unruly Brussels which has always been at odds with other BE regions. Now it's 30, next year - road charging - what is next? Pietonier all over? Brussels which has been massively hit by the pandemic is in need of good news and more liberty, not more restrictions and finger wagging from the Belgian ruling class.

Jan 6, 2021 18:11