The Mayor of Brussels, Yvan Mayeur, and the deputy burgomaster for Mobility, Els Ampe, presented their new plan for circulation in the Pentagon. The first measured will be applicable as of the summer of 2015. After that, the adjustments will be made by phases. At the end, the pedestrian zone should double and become one of the largest in Europe...
A bigger pedestrian area
The main axis to become pedestrian will extend from Place de Brouckère and the rue des Pierres. However, other areas are concerned over time: the Place du jeu de Balle in the Marolles will be partially closed to vehicles; in the Saint-Jacques area, the Place Fontainas and the rue du Midi will also be made pedestrian, just like the Place Samedi in the Béguinage area.
Changes for summer 2015
Taking advantage of the more fluid circulation during the summer, the biggest part of the new plan will be put into action as of 18 July 2015. The directions of most streets in the center will also be modified, allowing a first pedestrian zone to be created. Many more streets will then be added to the pedestrian zone, such as place de la Bourse, boulevard Anspach, boulevard Adolphe Max (between de Brouckère and rue Saint-Michel), rue Devaux, rue Jules Van Praet, rue Grétry, rue de la Madeleine, rue du Midi...
A small electric train and a modified STIB network
The new circulation plan has been conducted with the STIB, which has had to rethink its network. The bus lines 46 and 86 will be partially altered and the end stations of bus lines 66 and 95 will be moved elsewhere.
To facilitate movement for people (especially those with reduced mobility), a free electric train should go around the vast pedestrian zone.
New bike area
The current bicycle itineraries will be expanded to allow cyclists to move around easier. Streets entirely dedicated to cyclists will also be made, as well as specific parking lot of bicycles.
What about driving ?
Several parking areas will be created around the pedestrian area. The objective is to render the center a likable destination for pedestrians and a mini-ring for traffic transitting through the center.
First test during the Winter Wonder
A first test phase will be launched as soon as 13 December 2014 as part of the Winter Wonders (Plaisirs d'Hiver). Circulation changes will already be made in certain streets.