Brussels launches pavement renovation drive

The Brussels Region has announced plans to renovate and improve the quality of pavements across the Belgian and Flemish capital.  Brussels Mobility, the Brussels government’s mobility agency, has mapped out the condition of footpaths in Brussels.

The data will be used to plan renovation work over the next two years. Pedestrians who have a hard time getting about will qualify for special attention.

40% of journeys in Brussels happen on foot.  Mobility minister Elke Van den Brandt (Flemish green) says that means it’s high time the quality of pavements is tackled: “A walk’s good for your health, for the atmosphere in the city and the environment.  That’s why the pedestrian is the central focus of our regional mobility plan ‘Good Move’. Today we are putting the principles contained in this regional mobility plan into practice in our infrastructure and renovation policies.”

All Brussels pavements have now been fitted into different categories.  Busy footpaths e.g. near a station form part of the PLUS-net. Streets that connect busy areas have been labelled COMFORT-streets.  All other pavements form part of the WIJK- (or neighbourhood) net.  This division will serve as an important guide during the renovation work.  The Brussels government is also preferring to renovate an entire pavement rather than carry out repairs here and there.

Abdel Moussati of Brussels Mobility says accessibility for all, especially for pedestrians who are less mobile, is a priority.  “The most important thing about new footpaths is comfort for everybody.  That’s why we are using large concrete paving stones.  We take account of any incline and set out zebra crossings where suitable.  Public transport stops too are adapted to take account of the people who have greatest difficulty getting about.”

The app Fix My Street is being updated at the end of the year.  It allows you to report mobility issues.  In 2019 62,000 reports were made.  The updated app will also allow you to report accessibility issues.

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