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I'd like to note that the first bridge in those pictures is still under construction. The railings just have a placeholder at the moment and as for the surface, the final layer is still to be applied and therefore there's a temporary blanket over the whole bridge, it'd be too slippery otherwise.

Here are a few of my own pictures of bicycle paths in Belgium. Generally these are not new paths. It's the good, the bad and the ugly all mixed together.

Location: Vilvoorde, Woluwelaan (R22). Age: about 8 years


Location: Vilvoorde, Woluwelaan (R22). Age: about 1 year


Location: Eppegem/Vilvoorde, Houtemsestraat/Damstraat. Sadly enough, bicycle infrastructure can differ quite a lot from town to town.


Location: Weerde, Robert Shumanlaan (N267)/E19 (A1). A nice separate bicycle lane on each side, but don't try to use one in the opposite direction, as there are no lights telling you when it's safe to cross...


Location: Zemst/Mechelen, Brusselsesteenweg (N1). This intersection has had reconversion plans for the past 10 years now. Until then, cyclists have to contend with an unsafe uncomfortable cycle path.


A bit further on, there's an acceptable cycle path and they even had a temporary light set up for them when this intersection was temporarily controlled by lights.


Location: Mechelen, Colomalaan. A temporary cycle path, was to be used in both directions. Sadly enough, car drivers sometimes thought it was a good location to park their car...


Same location. The cycle lane on one side has been laid now. I presume they've had to add those concrete blocks as people kept on parking their cars on the cycle lane to deliver their kids to the school on the right (there's a kiss and ride around the corner though...).


Location: Weerde, Robert Shumanlaan (N267). Cars are allowed to drive 90 km/h at this point and it's not really in a good state further on either. No protection whatsoever. Hardly used for obvious reasons. People prefer taking a detour.


Location: Eppegem, Brusselsesteenweg (N1). Another intersection that should've gotten an overhaul. There were plans for it, but I'm not sure at what point they are at the moment. Maximum speed is 50 km/h here, luckily.


Location: Hofstade, Tervuursesteenweg (N227). But luckily, most newly constructed bicycle lanes look more like this. A good distance from the road, wide enough, and usually laid out in asphalt. Concrete is still popular though (sadly enough).
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
How are they dealing with ribbon development and bicycle paths in Belgium? Many once rural roads are now lined with houses so to build a detached bicycle path they need to acquire a lot of separate parcels (gardens) to build one.

I've always assumed this type of spatial "planning" has always been a huge hindrance in Belgium to build proper bicycle paths outside traffic.
 

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Does Belgium have a website like this one, with up-to-date information on cycling paths, worksites, bike parking etc? http://nl.routeplanner.fietsersbond.nl/
I'm not aware of a website with such a plan. Google Maps is the best way to find all cycling paths, I think. We do have a "knooppuntennetwerk" (= node network), for which there are plans available: http://www.fietsroute.org/Fietsrouteplanners.php It's focused on recreational cycling only though.

I personally don't. To read a fingerpost, you generally have to come to a complete stop to look for the destination you need. These signs however are very clear and can be used from a distance.

How are they dealing with ribbon development and bicycle paths in Belgium? Many once rural roads are now lined with houses so to build a detached bicycle path they need to acquire a lot of separate parcels (gardens) to build one.

I've always assumed this type of spatial "planning" has always been a huge hindrance in Belgium to build proper bicycle paths outside traffic.
The lack of proper spatial planning in the past does indeed pose problems from time to time. All in all though, there's usually a proper solution to be found. Often, they have to resort to making the road smaller to give space to cyclists. (here's an example of a house that stands in the way and here's another location like that where they didn't do that, but just added markings on the road).

But to really build the cycle paths out of traffic, that's an issue indeed. Then again, the local/provincial/federal governments don't see such cycle paths as a priority. It's only been recently that the province of Antwerp has gotten started on making "fiets-o-strades" (= cycle highways) that aren't purely aimed at recreational cycling. Often, they can use small concrete roads between fields to make such a route or they follow train tracks or they follow a canal. But even then, there's not always a complete separation from traffic.
 

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I personally don't. To read a fingerpost, you generally have to come to a complete stop to look for the destination you need. These signs however are very clear and can be used from a distance.
Not the end of the world coming to an halt when needed whilst on bikeback.

Would like to meet u somewhere in the middle ground but it's already starting to look cheap and shoddy...
http://goo.gl/maps/dTaq6
 

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Above all, Belgium is a car country. Spatial planning has to to with this. infrastructure is getting better but the worst are indeed cycling lanes along the ribbon developments. oftehn litte space, to much heavy traffic, bicycle lanes full of grind because of the heavy traffic ect ect...
 

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Most Flemish cities above 50.000 inhabitants have a bike sharing system called blue bike. In Wallonia however, no such thing is observed and biking lanes are also a lot less popular there, not to mention almost totally absent.

Bike parking in @ Leuven mail railway station (offcourse filmed by some astonished American)




And here is the new bike parking in Ghent on the day it opened:




More wil be needed surely because Ghent is currently drowing in bikes because students have no proper places to put them.





 

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Europe's Most Congested City Contemplates Going Car-Free



If the city’s new mayor gets his way, Central Brussels will soon be essentially car-free. Socialist Party mayor Yvan Mayeur, sworn in last month as mayor of the Brussels City district, wants to turn the Belgian capital's central axis into a pedestrian zone.

The move would transform a handsome but car-snarled four-lane boulevard and a string of squares into a long, café-filled promenade. This new zone will join up with an existing pedestrian zone in the narrow streets around the city's Grand Place and Rue Neuve, turning Brussels’ core into a spacious, rambling open-air living room.

The change is long overdue. No European capital has been quite so ruined by motor vehicles as Brussels, which even last year was scorned by the French as a "sewer for cars." And the new plan is going over well with locals, meaning Brussels might finally gain its deserved place as a likeable European city.

If it does so, it will be in the face of decades of poor planning from which the city is still recovering. Though they were following international fashion, it's rare that a city's elite messes up redevelopment so badly that it succeeds in coining its own anti-planning slur. Brussels managed this in the 1960s, however, when the city’s dual process of building ugly, over-sized buildings in the place of beloved historic ones and of prioritizing cars over everything else came to be called brusselization.

http://www.theatlanticcities.com/co...gested-city-contemplates-going-car-free/8027/
 

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An article from a couple of weeks ago that I forgot to post in here:

"Bicycle motorways" in Flemish Brabant ready by 2017?

The provincial authorities of Flemish Brabant have announced they will step up investments in so-called fast cycleways, a kind of motorway for cyclists to allow them to get quickly from one place to another, in this case from cities outside Brussels straight to the capital.

The news means that the cost for the infrastructure works will be carried completely by the province and the Flemish government, so that the local municipalities don't have to step in any longer. The province hopes that this will speed up the whole process.

At present, three fast cycle links are on the table: one between Leuven and Brussels, one going from Mechelen to Brussels (alongside the canal) and next continuing to Halle, and a third one from Asse and Zellik to the capital.

For the Leuven-Brussels connection, a big bridge has to be built across the enormous Brussels Orbital Road. This route will follow the railway over a long stretch. It is hoped that most of the cycleways can be ready by 2017.​
http://www.deredactie.be/permalink/1.1845349 - Thu 23/01/2014 - 17:04

Here's an overview map of the planned lanes:


Deep purple lines are fully subsidized, the pinkish and light blue lines mainly have their construction subsidized, but the planning only partially.
The PDF where I took that image can be found here (3.73 MB). And a map with more details on the actual route (though much is yet to be planned) can be found on the website of the province.
 
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