Bicycle paths, buses and trams await the widening of the ring

The redevelopment of the Brussels ring starts symbolically this summer. Flanders starts with bicycle facilities and new lines for public transport. The criticized section aimed at increasing the number of lanes starts in 2021, the Flemish government hopes

to unblock the Brussels ring road and improve the incoming and outgoing mobility of the capital. This is the ambition of the Flemish government to move slowly but surely in its project of redevelopment of the ring between the national airport and the Brussels municipality of Jette . On Friday, Ben Weyts (N-VA), Flemish Minister for Mobility, Public Works and the Rand wore a place for a helmet to embark on the territory of Vilvoorde the work of a new cycle route planned along the highway loop, the daily Queen of the files. The Flemish government has thus symbolically launched the optimization – or expansion – of the Brussels ring, which for the moment rises to one billion euros .

"The works on the ring they are also working for the quality of life."

Ben Weyts

Flemish Minister for Mobility

Because he does not yet have the necessary permits to reach the motorway itself, Flanders starts where it has all the levers with a worldwide project [alternatives] alternatives for the car over the entire periphery of the northern periphery. the official information site of the project, calls 16 km bus (the Ringtrambus) connecting the Heysel to the national airport via the Vilvoorde train station. But also a 29 km fast tram line that connects Willebroeck and Heysel via Londerzeel and Meise and a connection, still with the tram, between the Gare du Nord and the airport via Leopoldboulevard III. This network bears the name Brabantnet .

Ben Weyts also announced Friday the creation of 60 km of bicycle routes to encourage commuters to choose the bike for their commute. These works with soft mobility spread in the next two years . But most of the future development will extend the ring to separate transit traffic from local traffic. Purpose: to liquefy the whole. This part of the project has not yet been established, the Flemish government is still in a consultation phase . Critics, they have already been heard. However, "the work in the ring, it is also working for the quality of life", reassured Minister Weyts in an explanatory book distributed on a large scale this summer in the municipalities concerned.

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Remedies in sight

This publication of Werkvennootschap, the public law company commissioned by Flanders to lead the project and to organize the consultation with local residents, is described as . ] "scandalous propaganda" by the opponents, often violently against this project, which in their eyes only aims to increase the ring capacity of the car. "This project serves mainly to unblock the economic zone of Noordrand and to connect the airport of Zaventem with the port of Antwerp, beyond Brussels and not at all to improve the accessibility of the capital" judge, for example, Claire Vandevivere (CDH), alderman of the environment in Jette.

"The municipality of Jette will go to the Council of State if she judges that her interests have been prejudiced."

Claire Vandevivere

Alderman of the Environment at Jette

She remembers that the ring will pass twice twice plus two times three bands and on some parts from 8 to 14 bands . It is based on different studies and foreign experiences to say that this expansion will only encourage the use of the car without paying much attention to the quality of the air that the inhabitants of the motorway inhale. "This project from an outdated vision will only stifle Brussels" she said as she begged for the recovery of the ring. The alderman then recalls that part of the ring is located on the territory of Brussels (including Jette) and that the Flemish government will therefore submit an application for a permit from the Brussels-Capital Region to be in charge. future project. The Brussels Capital Region "must take into account the opinion of Jette who will be free to appeal and possibly go to the Council of State if he feels his interests have been damaged" Claire adds Vandevivere

Optimistic deadlines

For the time being, the Brussels government is not diametrically opposed to the Flemish ambitions for the ring. " We will remain constructive as long as we are at the core of studies and projects on condition that our Brussels objectives are respected, but I regret that these consultations have not yet succeeded", said Brussels Prime Minister Rudi Vervoort (PS) last March. He added that each project "will fight against congestion in accordance with the Brussels will to turn the city entrances into urban boulevards, a reduction of traffic pressure in the capital, ] to make it more accessible to contribute to respect for environmental obligations and until decrease of the nuisance of mobility on public health. "

The Flemish government hopes to start on the road network with major works on horizon 2020-21 . Deadlines that are highly unlikely to be respected, assessed in Brussels.

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