Flanders adjusts bicycle infrastructure guidelines to increased traffic

The Flemish government will review and adjust Flanders’ recommendations concerning bicycle infrastructure. That is what Flemish Minister of Mobility, Lydia Peeters (Open Vld), announced. The update is due to increased bicycle use and the growing popularity of other bicycle types like cargo bikes, speed pedelecs, or rickshaws.

Today, the existing manual for bicycle facilities contains directives for bicycle infrastructure, but the document is outdated. Bicycle traffic has not only increased but changed spectacularly.

More and different bikes

Bicycle use, in general, increased from 12,8% of trips in 2013 to 14,2% in 2020. For commuting, this evolution even was 12,5% and 16,9%, respectively. Today’s bicycle tracks are highly frequented by traditional bikes, e-bikes, speed pedelecs, cargo bikes, e-scooters, monowheels, rickshaws… And they all vary in size and speed.

“The new text, therefore, contains instructions about the choice of surface materials, the width of bicycle tracks, and the accessibility of bicycle parking facilities,” Minister Peeters explains. With the new instructions, new bicycle tracks should be future-proof.

Wider bikeways

The new directives of the ‘Vade mecum for bicycle facilities’ are better aligned with the new bicycle types and recommend wider bikeways – two meters for a one-way track; three meters for a bicycle path in two directions – and more waiting space at junctions.

The Agency for Roads and Traffic (Agentschap Wegen en Verkeer, AWV) will inform all road managers and all those involved about the changes in the new manual after the summer holidays. Later this year, AWV will organize some workshops on this matter.

 

 

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