Jet appeals against Flanders plan to extend Brussels ring road

Plans to add additional lanes to the Brussels ring road in Wemmel could prove difficult as the local government of Götte refuses to approve the highway expansion.

The Brussels district is concerned that the extra lanes could cause increased traffic and pollution, especially in residential areas around UZ Brussels, reports Bruzz.

The Belgian capital is already struggling to control air pollution, especially from heavy traffic. Commuters from Flanders and Wallonia continue to contribute significant amounts of emissions, even if Brussels residents limit or stop using cars altogether.

The Flemish government has announced plans to extend the highway to Brussels in mid-July. This includes adding one more lane in closing exit 8 to Wemmel and redirecting traffic to his exit 9 at Jette. This makes a perfect entry/exit ramp.

Flanders says it will “optimize” traffic flow, and simulations show large volumes of traffic passing through residential areas less often. But Jette fears the opposite will happen.

“We repeat what we have been saying for 10 years: we oppose the widening of the jet ring road and the crossing which will become an area with 4,000 inhabitants and several schools and daycare centers. “LB-CDH).

“For 10 years we have felt unheard. If an urban development permit is submitted, we will reject it. We will also consult with the Brussels government and, if necessary, go to the State Council,” he said. .

Competing studies show strengths and weaknesses

Jette has conducted its own research to back up its claims of increased traffic. “Flanders may boast of extra cycle paths and better public transport between Brussels and the suburbs, but if they are also widening the ring road, it means nothing.” said the councilor of Mobility Nathalie De Swaef (Groen).

“It gives the driver a signal that they are taking it easy.”

Good Move, Brussels’ major mobility plan, aims to reduce vehicle traffic and emissions in the capital more than any other major European city.

But rather than the expansion pouring more cars into the jet, Flanders says the opposite will happen. Cars from the jet move onto the ring road, reducing traffic within Brussels.

“Congestion on the ring road is also caused by local traffic. We want to suck that traffic, but we don’t want to create new traffic. says Marijn Struyf.

Jette isn’t convinced by Flanders’ simulation, which doesn’t address the emissions issue.

“By closing Exit 8, more cars will be concentrated, which means worse air pollution,” said Mayor Vandeviere. “This remains a project against sustainable mobility, the environment and the health of Jette residents.”

public opinion divided

Last year, a petition organized by Jette among citizens attracted more than 6,000 people to speak out against the plans in Flanders. However, opinions are still divided.

“Many locals didn’t sign the petition because the municipality is mixing two issues,” said one neighborhood committee member.

“They are against the closure of Exit 8 and the new exit at Dikke Beuklaan, but they are not against building the entire ring. There is none.”

UZ Brussels is not entirely against the plan either.

“We understand the municipality’s concerns, but as a hospital, we believe it is important to keep Exit 9 open,” environmental and mobility coordinator Nico Van Elzen told Bruzz.

Van Elzen noted that some local patients find it difficult to reach hospitals without detours.

As the current plan has not yet been finalized, it will be up to the Travel Ministers of Flanders and Brussels to reach political agreement on next steps.

Brussels has already been disapproved by Minister Elke van den Brandt (Groen). Further consultations are scheduled after the summer.

Photo: © Belga/Aurore Belot Jet appeals against Flanders plan to extend Brussels ring road

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