Cycling in Brussels still on the rise, albeit at a slower pace
The number of cyclists in Brussels has increased by 7 per cent in a year, according to Brussels Mobility, the capital's transport organisation. While politicians and advocates are pleased with the increase, it is significantly lower than last year's 40 per cent rise.
Based on open data from 18 counting stations in Brussels, the media platform Bruzz announced that the 10 millionth cyclist or scooter rider passed one of these stations last week. However, Brussels Mobility points out that the data may give an overly optimistic picture.
"We need to put this open data into perspective," says Inge Paemen, spokesperson for Brussels Mobility. "Ten million cyclists is great news. But if we install more charging stations, more cyclists will be counted." Placing a counting station on a busy thoroughfare can also significantly distort the data, she said.
The figure must, therefore, be estimated slightly lower. Cyclists who pass the same station several times daily carry more weight in the data than those who pass it once or rarely.
The number of cyclists in the region is expected to increase by 7 per cent this year - but this is much less than the 40 per cent increase recorded last year. "We can only be pleased because it shows that our efforts to create more and safer cycling infrastructure continue to pay off," said Paemen. "We must continue on this path."
Brussels' minister for mobility, Elke Van den Brandt of Flemish green party Groen, is also pleased with the increase, and puts it down to improved infrastructure. She called it a success, but said she recognised that the work is incomplete and will continue to invest in safe cycling routes.
© PHOTO NICOLAS MAETERLINCK