400km cycling routes for Flanders and Brussels

The ‘Fiets-GEN‘ (Gewestelijk Express Netwerk = Cycling Regional Express Network) project proposes almost 400km of cycling infrastructure for a better connection between Flemish communes and the city of Brussels.

The following is a translation of the article published in Brussel Nieuws. 

The network will span 15km around the Belgian capital. Some 15 routes have been selected receive priority in their construction. Some of them are already partially in place, such as the high speed route between Leuven and Brussels, and the canal-route in Brussels.

These priority routes add up to 280km of cycle paths, 60% of which is within the capital region. After their completion, there are another 118km of routes prepared. The entire project should reach completion by 2025.

The new network will be largely built upon existing infrastructure from the Gewestelijke Fietsroutes (GRS) in Brussels and the Vlaamse Bovenlokaal Functioneel Fietsnetwerk (BFF – Flemmish Upperlocal Functional Cyclenetwork).

The ministers in charge (Ministers Brigitte Grouwels (CD&V) and Hilde Crevits) claim that the network has to encourage more people to bike to work in the capital.

Fiets-GEN fietsroutes voor Brussel

It certainly is an ambitious project, especially for the city of Brussels, where cycling is not a predominate form of transport. Keep in mind that these plans still need to be approved. What is interesting is that the different Belgian regions are working together to make sure that their individual networks connect and reach those who need it outside of the Brussels Capital Region.

The question remains whether there is money being set aside for an awareness campaign, or whether they will adhere to the ‘build-it and they will come’ strategy.

The original article was posted in dutch over at Brusselnieuws.be

A short interview with Hilde Crevits concerning fiets-GEN

For more information (in dutch), visit the Flemish government’s website, which includes the study (dutch) that led up to the proposal. 

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