Cycling improvement in Flanders, Belgium
On Friday, March 15 the event “5 jaar Fietsberaad” took place in Brussels.
This is due to the 5-year anniversary of Fietsberaad Vlaanderen, which was established in 2014 by the Flemish government. The Fietsberaad supports the development of cycling policy at the different governments. Since then, bicycle investments have risen, but there is certainly still room for improvement. Saskia Kluit from the Fietsersbond took part in the discussion panel which discussed how Flanders has significantly improved the cycling infrastructure, but that there is still a lot of work to be done. In many places the infrastructure is insufficient and often dangerous for less experienced cyclists. In Flanders there is still a discussion whether space for bicycle infrastructure poses problems for car mobility. Saskia argued that bicycle infrastructure not only doesn’t have to be conflicting with the flow of cars, it often even leads to a better traffic flow. The financially attractive company car in Belgium was discussed as well, how this has a slowing effect on bicycle use. At the same time, the lease bike is gaining popularity in Belgium, with a supplier of lease bikes showing very strong annual growth rates. For the 10-year anniversary, Fietsberaad Vlaanderen has set different milestones. These include increasing the present cycling budget from €138 million to €300 million in 2024, and a 20% cycling modal share.
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