Brussels Shifting From 'All To The Car' Model To Balanced Multimodal Transport - Minister

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Brussels Shifting From 'All to The Car' Model to Balanced Multimodal Transport - Minister

Brussels authorities are taking measures to upgrade the city infrastructure so that they can gradually shift to greener road transport while trying to assure residents of the benefits of the decision, Elke Van den Brandt, the transport minister in the Belgium capital, told Sputnik

BRUSSELS (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 02nd August, 2021) Brussels authorities are taking measures to upgrade the city infrastructure so that they can gradually shift to greener road transport while trying to assure residents of the benefits of the decision, Elke Van den Brandt, the transport minister in the Belgium capital, told Sputnik.

"The Brussels government is well aware that it must persuade the inhabitants of Brussels and the users of the city of the merits of its decisions for cleaner air and a more pleasant city to live in tomorrow," the official said.

Over the past 15 years, the city authorities have invested more than 700 million Euros ($832 million) to restore tunnels and structural urban roads so that residents do not face the negative fallout of environmental measures, the minister added.

"[Thanks to the measures] the speed of traffic on this network will remain higher than in neighborhoods where safety and pollution reduction are greatly improved with the new speed limit at 30 kilometers per hour [18.6 miles per hour]. There will be cars left in Brussels and the traffic will be made more fluid," she explained.

Experts from the Brussels mobility administration believe that a 20% reduction in traffic is enough to eliminate the traffic jams that block the city during rush hours, but some commuters oppose even such a relatively mild measure.

"Initially, the political decisions of the majority in the Brussels region, with the participation of the Greens, were very badly perceived by commuters, but this improved when the minister agreed to consider the structuring axes and the tunnels in the city as essential to road traffic, investing in their repair and confirming that the automobile will always be well accepted in the city," Peter Van Dormael, a member of the "L'automobiliste en a marre!" (The car driver is fed up) group, told Sputnik.

At the same time, what is not acceptable for commuters is the kilometer tax to fight traffic jams, he added.

"Almost 1,500 euros per year is theft and will scare away companies that will now set up outside Brussels," Van Dormael said.

Nevertheless, Brussels seems to succeed in an accepted quiet "green" revolution that will make the air cleaner and the city much more welcoming to its inhabitants and its users. Even commuters' associations seem to accept the soft evolution to fewer cars as long as public transport increases its offer and they are not bombarded by new taxes.