Hasselt experiments with ‘Japanese zebra crossing’
On Thursday night the road construction works of the ‘Japanese zebra crossing’ at the Colonel Dusart Square in Hasselt (Belgium) were finalized. Pedestrians coming from several directions can cross the road at the same time and in all directions. For this special crossing a special yellow coating for the road surface was used, several zebra crosswalks and eleven traffic lights were installed.
Red light for all directions
When pedestrians indicate they want to cross the road, all motorized traffic gets red light and has to stop. Until recently there wasn’t any traffic light near the bus stop at the Dusartplein and bike-riders and pedestrians depended on the goodwill of car drivers and buses to cross.
The location, which is a real bottleneck, is one of the busiest spots of the ring road in Hasselt. “On an average morning of a weekday more than 600 pedestrians and 1.300 cars are crossing each other every hour”, says Hasselt Alderman for Mobility, Habib El Ouakili (sp.a). With the special crossing, Flemish Minister for Mobility, Ben Weyts (N-VA), hopes that traffic flow will increase significantly.
On Friday the Agency for Roads and Traffic (Agentschap Wegen en Verkeer, AWV) started a test phase. The following four months have to show how traffic flow can be organized in the most efficient way.