- Daily & Weekly newsletters
- Buy & download The Bulletin
- Comment on our articles
Tired of waiting for the region, Etterbeek lays bicycle paths on Avenue de Tervuren
Tired of waiting on the region, Etterbeek took the matter of cycle paths on Avenue de Tervuren into its own hands this week. On Monday, the municipality created a path on the avenue’s westbound access road (pictured). It had planned to do the same on the eastbound side, but the region intervened.
The development of cycling infrastructure on Avenue de Tervuren – which runs from the east end of Cinquantenaire park through Etterbeek and Woluwe-Saint-Pierre all the way into its namesake city on the border with Brussels – has been dragging on for some time.
As it’s a regional road, the Brussels Capital-Region wanted to develop a plan in consultation with Etterbeek and Woluwe-Saint-Pierre, but there was a difference of opinion on whether one-way paths should run on either side or a two-way path on one side, along with other details.
In any case, Woluwe-Saint-Pierre was reportedly dragging its feet on the issue, while Etterbeek wanted to get on with it. Mayors are allowed to take decisions on regional roads that run through their municipalities in the interests of safety. Etterbeek mayor Vincent De Wolf (MR) got everyone’s attention this week when he instructed workers to paint a bike path on the side of one of the access roads that run along either side of the main avenue.
Prompt end to a two-year debate
Preparing to do the same on the other side this morning, Etterbeek stopped the works stopped when the regional mobility minister Elke Van den Brandt (Groen) insisted on an immediate discussion on the matter. An agreement was reached: “One cycle path of 2.5 metres wide will be developed on the eastbound access road,” said Van den Brandt spokesperson Pieterjan Desmet. “That means that some parking spaces will disappear along the left side of the road.”
Mayor De Wolf, however, says it’s not a done deal. “I said that I would try that, but I have not submitted an official reply yet,” he told Bruzz. “This plan brings a set of problems with it.”
The region noted that Etterbeek also made a cycle street out of the westbound access road that did not conform to regional requirements. It has submitted a list of issues that need to be corrected. “The way all of this came about is ridiculous,” said Desmet. “But the result is an improvement for cyclists.”
Indeed, said De Wolf. “For two years, nothing happened, but suddenly it’s all being decided very quickly.”
Photo courtesy Vincent De Wolf