Liège lowers speed to 30 km/h in lockdown aftermath
Authorities and municipalities are preparing for after-lockdown mobility challenges. Last week, Brussels announced the creation of an additional 40 km of cycling paths and a lowered speed limit. Liege follows suit this week with an adapted 30-zone city center, and 35 km of road to be transformed into cycling paths.
Federal authorities and municipalities are all conscious of the mobility challenges that present the step-by-step lifting of the lockdown. Citizens are buoyed to walk or use bicycles to leave public transport for those who need it most and to avoid congestion issues.
Last week, Regional Mobility Minister, Elke Van den Brandt (Groen), announced that the city would transform around 40 km of driving lanes around the region into cycling paths. Inside the so-called pentagon, a general speed limit of 20 kph has been implemented to increase safety for pedestrians and cyclists.
The municipality of Molenbeek has chosen to walk in the footsteps of the Regional authorities. Starting from May 11, the speed will now be limited to 20 kph on the main axes. “Now is the time because we are about to get an increasingly important number of cars, cyclists, and pedestrians as the lockdown lifts. At the same time, we need to ensure that social distancing is respected,” indicates Mayor Catherine Moureaux (PS).
“With the gradual lifting of the lockdown, the city of Liege wants to facilitate walking and cycling as modes of transport. This is why we have made soft mobility a priority,” notes the Alderman of Mobility, Gilles Foret (MR). At the mayor’s request, a task force will study proposals and implement them quickly. All in all, 35 km of roads should be transformed into cycling paths.
Like Verviers, Liege will limit the speed inside its city center to 30 kph. “We want to grab the opportunity to use the street for soft mobility. If all who desire to avoid buses choose individual cars, the city could be completely clogged,” informs Verviers’ Alderman of Mobility, Alexandre Loffet (PS).