The authorities in the Belgian capital, Brussels, have announced the first results of the implementation of their Good Move Plan. The plan is the city's mobility plan and aims to change the flow of traffic within the city, by closing some streets and creating new one-way streets within the city’s so-called ‘Pentagon’ – the main central area. The ultimate aim is to make the city a better place for residents and visitors.
Although the authorities note that it is still too early to draw comprehensive conclusions, the results after six months are promising. The plan already appears to be delivering its intended effects, as indicated by some initial findings including:
- Reduced traffic flow in the central part of Brussels. Total traffic has fallen by around 19%. This figure was determined by counting the number of cars passing 45 intersections within the Pentagon. The first count was taken on 26 October 2021, while the second was on 8 November 2022, a couple of weeks after the plan was put into action.
- Increased number of cyclists. 23% more cyclists have been counted in the morning rush hour and 13% more in the evening rush hour.
- Improvements in some travel times. Driving the entire Kleine Ring, the boulevard around the Pentagon, took around one hour on 23 January 2023. That is five minutes faster than it took before the Covid-pandemic and about the same as in 2021. These improvements were not consistent across the board.
- Reduced noise and cleaner air.
However, the plan has been met with some resistance. In the first week after the Good Move Plan was introduced, there were protests in the streets of central Brussels. Those participating were concerned that the plan would bring less traffic, and so less business into the area. According to a statement by the city, officials have taken the concerns of many residents into account.
The city's Alderman for Mobility, and the main proponent of the plan Bart Dhondt, explained that local authorities weigh these concerns against the spirit of the plan and changes could be made where necessary. Alderman Dhondt was quoted in a press statement saying: “Many people have simply made a different mobility choice and switched to cycling or public transport, for example. The circulation plan thus contributes to the ultimate goal: a more pleasant city for everyone.”
Original article published by The Mayor on 17 February 2023.
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