The Brussels-Capital authorities have decided to make the A12 and E40 urban boulevards.
“Attracting the car to the city through highways is a relic from the 50’s. By making them urban boulevards, we maintain the traffic jam outside the city and we considerably increase life and air quality,” Pascal Smet, the Brussels minister in charge of mobility, said on Twitter on Friday, after the decision with regard to the highways was official.
The Brussels Region authorities want to get rid of the highways in the territory. This is why the A12 (Antwerp-Brussels) and E40 (Liège-Brussels) segments that are situated in Brussels will become urban roads. In concrete terms, the speed limits will considerably decrease, from 120 km/h to 80 km/h or 50 km/h.
Green areas should be set up on the network as well as transit parking areas. The decision might however be a bit controversial. More than 75,000 drivers use those highways every single day.
In Brussels life- and air quality are at the core of our policy, just like in other modern cities worldwide.
That’s why we are getting rid of our car-minded history. Modern boulevards instead of highways, more green space and mobility alternatives.@onebrussels #BrusselsForPeople pic.twitter.com/a0gK9id63X
— Pascal Smet (@SmetPascal) February 8, 2019
The Touring organisation, which is active in mobility, is quite skeptical about this decision. “You won’t convince the people to let the car and get in a massively crowded tram. It’s a shame the metro has never been extended to the Brussels suburbs,” Dany Smagghe spokesperson for the organisation, stated.
The decision is expected to enter into force in 2020.