"Zone 30" for the whole Brussels Region? "It's realistic, and it will improve quality of life"

The next Brussels government wants to introduce a general speed limit of 30 km/h for the whole Brussels area as from 2021. Mobility professor Cathy Macharis of the Brussels university VUB thinks this is possible, and that it will boost the quality of life. 

It's the Flemish and Francophone socialists and greens, the Flemish liberals and Défi who are on the verge of sealing a policy agreement. The accord is expected for next week, and the new government could be installed soon. One of the chapters in the new policy statement is about mobility: the coalition partners want to introduce a general speed limit of 30 km/h (about 18 miles/hour) for the whole region, i.e. in every street in all municipalities, except for trunk roads, motorways and the small orbital road with its many tunnels. 

Cathy Macharis told the VRT that "this is realistic. We already have a "zone 30" in Schaarbeek since September last year. However, we are still seeing a lot of accidents there. One in three motorists are going faster than 30, with some even going to 70 to 80 km/h." A better cooperation is needed between the Brussels region and the various municipalities, the professor underlines.

Schaarbeek has a "zone 30" since September, but we see that more checks are needed

In short, Macharis says that it cán work, provided that enough checks are being staged and the right infrastructure is in place. "We see that the police agreement has included this challenge. They should also invest more in public transport, making it free of charge for those under 25 and above 65."

"If you can combine this with bike, step and car sharing systems, you wouldn't  need a car any longer. And that would be good for the climate, because the introduction of a "zone 30" has nothing to do with the climate. It is just to improve the quality of life. Brussels shows it opts for more room for pedestrians and cyclists, and that the car is no longer coming in first place."

Brussels politicians are also considering a complete ban on diesel cars as from 2030. "This may sound early, but it is necessary to meet the climate goals." 

A complete ban for diesel cars as from 2030