One of the notable points during Monday’s city council meeting is the expansion of zone 30 in the center. Not all parties are on the same wavelength.
Ships for mobility Sabine Hoeckman: “For decades, the king of cars has taken over the public domain dominantly and aggressively. Sometimes literally other users of the public domain were driven.
In recent years, minds have turned and people have rightly come to put the importance of the stepper, pedal and public transport in the first place.
Hence the STOP principle. In this vision, the most important users of the public domain are the Stappers, the Trappers and the public transport system.
The drivers of cars are the last in line.
Countless studies show that most drivers use the car for short distances.
In addition, it also appears that in crashes with cars, the physical injuries in a speed regime of 50 km/h are much worse than where only 30 km/h is allowed.
In conjunction with this, the use of electric bicycles has risen sharply in recent years.
Now with the expansion of zone 30 in Nederbrakel, we wish to further support this movement!
The Stappers and Trappers should know that they come first in the center of Nederbrakel. The drivers of the cars must realize that they are tolerated in the center of Nederbrakel!
A zone 30 is currently in force in Brakel in the following streets:
Because what is the situation in Brakel today?
– There is a zone 20 in the Hoog and Neerstraat
– There is a zone 20 on the Market Square
– There is a zone 30 in the Stationsstraat
– There is a zone 30 in part of the Kasteelstraat
– There is a zone 30 in Wielendaalstraat
– There is a zone 30 on Lindeplein
– There is a zone 30 in a large part of the Driehoekstraat
– There is a zone 30 in the Sint-Pieterswijk
– There is a zone 30 in the Nederstenkouter
What would be the expansion then?
The zone will be completed with an extension of 3 kilometers in its entirety, divided over:
– Railway Street: 500M
– Castle Street:300M
– Triangle Street: 400M
– Kerkhofstraat: 500M
The positive thing about this is that as soon as the driver leaves the regional road via the aforementioned streets, you end up in a homogeneous zone of 30 km/h!
The opposition reacts: Veronique Lenvain (Vlaams Belang) : “Zone 30”
Vlaams Belang councilor Veronique Lenvain fully supports the expansion of zone 30 in school environments and village centers because the safety of our people comes first.
The majority wants to significantly expand zone 30 in Spoorwegstraat, Watermolenstraat, Beekstraat, Gauwstraat, etc…. This can lead to dangerous situations in which the cyclists drive faster than the motorists. The Vlaams Belang is not in favor of this and has abstained in the vote on the general additional traffic regulations for the extension of zone 30. The majority wants our children to make more use of the bicycle and to go to school by bike. Vlaams Belang is more in favor of bicycle streets at schools and greater use of bicycles, but then the infrastructure has to be adapted first. First work on comfort and safety for the cyclist. Comfortable infrastructure encourages bicycle use. This will increase the safety of the cyclist.”
Hedwin De Clercq: “Is this a joke?”
Hedwin De Clercq (Vooruit) voted against this proposal with his group. “Why don’t I get the requested figures for the accidents that occurred in that expansion zone? If you let the cars drive too slowly, you create an unsafe situation. On top of that, Brakel cannot even enforce zone 50 today, let alone a zone 30. You can push people who drive 35 kilometers per hour into the shit.”
Lien Braeckman (CD&V) asked why the Driehoekstraat cannot be turned into a bicycle street. Jan Haegeman (N-VA) shared this vision for school environments.
It was requested that the expansion only be planned for January 1, 2023 instead of October 1, 2022 due to the many activities. (question from Delphine Bogaert)
Zone 20 and 30 – is an easy solution?
Zones 20 and 30 are being introduced here and there in many municipalities. Is this a carte blanche to simply do nothing about bicycle safety? For example, sometimes you paint some strips and enter a zone 20 or 30 to simply do nothing.
In Zwalm (Munkzwalm) a zone 30 will also be introduced on the Zuidlaan (N415). The ships for mobility Patrick Moreels says that slaloming is a danger.
In practice, however, we see many cyclists riding faster through Munkzwalm because it is once located in a valley. When it is busy (rush hour) the level crossing closes up to 6 times per hour, so that traffic is automatically slowed down. There is an alternative for safe cycling (sports site and along the city 2 district – stream to largely avoid Zuidlaan)
The Noordlaan was recently redeveloped, where our own experience says that this cycle path is not safer. At the intersection Het Hoofd it only becomes dangerous to cross as a cyclist if you have to go to Beerlegem. However, it has just been rebuilt.
As far as Brakel is concerned, hardly anything has improved in terms of bicycle safety. Recently, a new asphalt layer was applied on the N8 in Zegelsem without the cyclist benefiting from this. On the approach roads for cyclists such as Krijge and Kouteren, vehicles are regularly encountered at high speed. The Kleiberg is not an alternative and nothing has changed in the space of 20 years. Twenty years ago, the Fietsersbond was already here with the requirement to provide a bicycle path along the Jagerstraat-Kleiberg. Why is the Mijnwerkerspad not upgraded with lighting and signaling boards in order to provide connections to future bicycle highways. Think of the bicycle highways F419 Oudenaarde-Zottegem F 421 Geraardsbergen- Lessen-Ronse-Avelgem. Brakel seems to have completely missed the boat here.
On the other hand, the Flemish Region will break up and asphalt the cycle path between the Den Ooievaar intersection and the border with Zwalm (Gentsestraat N415). This bike path is even more than decent. In order to improve safety along the cycle path, it would be better to provide a few parking bays for heavy transport, because a lorry regularly takes up a quarter of the width.
Finally, there are now bicycle paths along the Ronsesestraat because riding a bicycle here was more like playing Russian roulette.
The question is also why the Rijdt domain was never more dominantly used as a fast bicycle connection through the construction of suitable bicycle paths through the site.
The Brakel mobility plan – the last has not yet been said about it. Years ago there was a plan where a one-way street was made from the Kasteelstraat in the direction of Rond Plein. This was quickly removed by….. During the recent village revaluation, the Wielendaelstraat (traffic flow) in the direction of the Hoogstraat intersection was proposed. This traffic flow was reversed without the necessary participation. A mobility study showed that a passageway between the Tirse car park and the Neerstraat would be an additional asset for the commercial center. There is currently an opportunity to tackle and realize this problem. Cars now have to drive for miles.
Another problem is that the Brakel fire station is located in the middle of zone 30. Brakel has to look for a different location for his fire station because volunteers must go to their fire station as quickly as possible at their own risk. For example, if you drive 50, it may be when you find that you have lost your driver’s license.
In this climate crisis, we are always talking about reducing CO2 emissions.
However, it increases with decreasing speed.
Driving at 30km/h is the most damaging speed in terms of CO2 emissions. If you drive at 50 km/h there are 15% less emissions and at 70 km/h there is another 5% less emissions.
The consumption figures and emissions figures
Speed of emission C02 Consumption
30km/u 2,31g/km 8,75 liter / 100km
50 km/h 1.96 7.42 15% less compared to 30 km/h
70 km/h 1.85 7.02 20% less
90km/u 1,88 7,13 19% minder
120km/h 2.23 8.46 3% less
We brought this up in an article a few years ago: Is there such a thing as a traffic religion? – NUUS
On the website of the VIAS road safety institute, we read the following. They are not talking about speed here but about weight of the vehicle.
“For vulnerable road users, the risk of dying is 50% higher if they are hit by an 1800 kilogram vehicle instead of a 1200 kilogram vehicle. The risk of serious injuries is 10% higher if the vulnerable road users are hit by a vehicle of 200 HP compared to a model with 120 HP. These are the results of a new study by Vias Institute. For the first time, the accident data was crossed with the database of the registered vehicles. The aim was to identify vehicle characteristics that increase the impact of pedestrian and two-wheeler accidents.”
Because more and more SUVs and cars with batteries (electric and hybrids) are driving, the weight and power of the vehicles is seriously increasing.
On the other hand, the latest cars are equipped with many camera systems and stop systems so that a collision seems less likely.