Hasselt ready to become one 20 kph residential area

This summer, the inner city of Hasselt will transform into a residential area with reduced traffic and a speed limit of 20 km/hour for cars and bicycles. Through traffic will be banned, but cyclists and pedestrians will be allowed to use the entire width of the public roads. In addition, parking places in the city will be limited, and parking will only be allowed in well-defined areas.

According to Marc Schepers, Alderman for Mobility in Hasselt, the game’s rules are simple: all road users are welcome in the city, but they have to be considerate of each other. “The city has to become safer and more comfortable for all road users,” the press release says.

Four city zones

The new regime will be introduced on Friday, August 5th, and by then, the city will have installed new road signs. Apart from that, some additional retractable poles will be installed. Today, Hasselt already has 30 such poles; by the end of autumn, there will be 15 more.

The general idea is to ban cut-through traffic. To avoid circulation in the center, the city will be divided into four separate zones. The zones will only be accessible via the inner beltway. Entering or leaving a zone is only possible via the same zone. In other streets or parts of the city, traffic will be regulated using permits.

ANPR cameras

Another new element in reorganizing the city’s traffic is the introduction of ANPR cameras (Automatic Number Plate Recognition). Local authorities will start a pilot project with such a camera system in the Dorpstraat.

If the experiment turns out well, more cameras could follow on other strategic spots. The cameras must ensure the city remains accessible to specific target groups (suppliers, health service providers).

More leisure zones

All these measures are part of Hasselt’s ‘Accessible Inner City’ mobility plan and are intended to improve traffic safety and create space for a more qualitative arrangement of the city center with more public gardens, plazas, and terraces.

In the summer of 2020, the city’s authorities have already launched a pilot project to reduce traffic in some parts of the city. Local authorities also talked with inhabitants, youth clubs, health care workers, teachers, merchants, and entrepreneurs to know people’s wishes and demands.

Hasselt also organized a large-scale online survey among 1 500 inhabitants. According to the study, most inhabitants supported the idea of upgrading the quality of life in the city.


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