Brussels is currently experimenting with new traffic lights at crossings. This new system has been put in place in a few crossings, it will be added to more crossings depending on its success in the next few months. This move follows the recent trend of adapting road measures to facilitate cyclists’ mobility in urban environments.
Initial testing has been positive and this new system has been put in place in 2 different crossings with more to follow if the results continue to be convincing. Not every crossing is suitable for such a system as it must fulfill a number of security criteria. The new traffic lights have a single icon which combines bicycles and pedestrians which should simplify crossings. They replaced the system which used to have individual traffic lights for cyclists and pedestrians. Indeed, the traffic light will clear any confusion on the cyclist or pedestrian’s part in order to ensure their safety. Recent results show that these new lights should help filter traffic and diminish congestion, benefiting both cyclists and drivers.
The GRACQ, one of the two key cycling federations in Brussels stated that this new initiatives should help to clarify certain crossing situations for cyclists while help road safety and shorten commuting time for cyclists. They hope that this trend will continue and cyclist related laws will continue to appear. The Flemish bike association, the Fietsersbond, highlighted the need for progress in road code to accommodate cyclists. Both associations remain supportive of the initiative and are willing to help the authorities with further legislation.
Brussels is not the only city in Europe to have changed its road measures to facilitate cyclists. Nantes had already enacted a proposition which allows cyclists to turn right even at a red light that proved to be a success. Paris, Bordeaux and a number of French cities also have this system. ECF hopes that other countries enact comparable laws. These new laws demonstrate the possible change in road regulation and the growing importance of incorporating cyclist’ rights into road measures. ECF supports this undertaking and is glad to see cycling becoming a more important theme in road safety legislation. We are pleased to see that cycling advocacy in Belgium has been successful and that there are results to show.ecf.com