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Seventy-five percent of expats feel unsafe cycling in Brussels

12:19 18/04/2014

More than 200 expats took part in an online survey about their cycling experiences in Brussels. Questions focused on bicycle safety, the quality of cycle lanes, the bike-sharing system Villo! and possible solutions to making the city more bike-friendly.

The results, compiled by cycling advocate Kwinten Lambrecht, point out both the negative and the positive aspects of getting around by bike in the capital. "I wanted to know what people from all over Europe think of Brussels as a cycling city," said Lambrecht.

Of those surveyed, 83 percent gave Brussels a score of five out of ten for bike-friendliness. “It’s not just about infrastructure,” says Chris from the UK. “Drivers need to be more aware of bikes and bike lanes.”

Eighty percent of expats agree that the quality of the cycle lanes is insufficient, while only 25 percent said they feel safe while cycling in Brussels. However, 65 percent are pleased with the bike sharing system, Villo!, calling it “the most convenient way to travel short distances within the city.”

The expats surveyed shared their ideas on how to make cycling in Brussels safer and more attractive: more cycle lanes and car-free zones, a congestion tax for cars and an increase in tax benefits for city cyclists. "I truly believe that Brussels has a lot of potential to become a 'smart city' when it comes to mobility issues," said Lambrecht, "but at the moment politicians focus too much on business in Brussels and not enough on making Brussels more liveable."

 

photo: European Cyclists' Federation

Written by Robyn Boyle