Parking C ‘step-over parking’ during closure of Leopold II tunnel
In July and August the Leopold II tunnel in Brussels will be completely closed down due to renovation works. That’s why Parking C at the Heizel square will be used as a step-over parking. Brussels Mobility Minister Pascal Smet (sp.a) reached an agreement in principle with the city of Brussels.
The use of the step-over parking, with 1.000 parking places, will be free of charge. The option to set up a free shuttle service between the parking and the King Baudouin metro station is also being developed.
The main purpose of the measure is to relieve traffic during the closure of the Leopold II tunnel, a major artery for traffic entering or leaving the city. At the same time, it is a good test to see whether it can also be made into a permanent step-over parking.
The new and much-discussed Euro stadium should have been built on Parking C, but now that those plans are cancelled, the site could get an other destination. “Apart from the story of the Euro Stadium, our intention has always been to make a step-over parking there”, says Mathias Dobbels, Minister Smet’s spokesman.
The employers’ organization Voka (Vlaams netwerk van ondernemingen) is satisfied with the initiative. At the same time, it warns that the broader picture of the traffic disruption expected from the tunnel renovations and later from the works on the Ring should be looked at.
“On the long term, a new project will be needed for the valorization of Parking C”, says Jan Van Doren, director of Voka Metropolitan. “A modern transit car park with a good connection to the ring road and public transport must be created. This project should also exploit the central location of Parking C for metropolitan facilities.”
Van Doren is clear: “The Heizel should be developed into a mobility hub on the outskirts of Brussels, that should contribute to a reduction in traffic jams. An optimal connection to the Ring can be provided in the context of the planned works, as well as a connection to the new planned public transport connections of the STIB/MIVB and De Lijn.”