The project area for Work on the Ring Road covers the northern part of the Ring Road, from the E40 towards Ghent to the E40 towards Liège. But the Ring Road also runs further along the east of Brussels. That section has also aged and is struggling to ensure that today's traffic flows smoothly. A new study is looking into what could be improved. In this, increasing liveability and safety are central.
The new study will not limit itself to road infrastructure. After all, mobility does not stop at the end of a road, but is closely connected to the wider environment that it influences too. Therefore this study is an excellent opportunity to investigate what could be improved in the region, so that we can boost overall liveability. Among other things, there will be a focus on rat runs, noise pollution, places where it is difficult for vulnerable road users to cross, and fragmentation of green areas.
Straight through the middle of the Sonian Forest
The eastern section of the Ring Road runs through the Sonian Forest, one of Belgium's largest wooded areas. It is lovely to walk, run, cycle or ride horses there, but the Ring Road chopping the forest in half forms a hard border. Furthermore, the road presents a barrier for the animals and plants that live in the area, and crossing the road can be extremely dangerous for animals. To reduce the Ring Road's barrier effect, we are investigating how both parts of the forest can be brought closer to each other, and how we can strengthen the forest as an ecological whole.
Reducing local impact
As the traffic on the Ring Road often clogs up, drivers look for other roads to drive on. As a result, many roads in the residential areas surrounding the Ring Road are being used as rat runs, which has a negative effect on liveability. The study will look for solutions to remove the traffic that does not belong in these residential areas. As these same residential areas must also regularly contend with noise pollution, we will look for possible solutions to this too.
In the future, traffic will increasingly evolve towards multi-modal mobility in which the different modes of transport are aligned with each other. Transferring from one mode of transport to another can then be done quickly and simply. From the start, the new study wants to investigate how we can strengthen the various modes of transport. We will look at where and how we can improve infrastructure for cyclists and pedestrians, and how we can optimise public transport in the region. Of course, car use will also be examined in depth. How the junctions are designed, and how these could be improved, will be considered.
Studying mobility in the broadest sense
In short, just like for the northern section of the Ring Road, our aim when studying the eastern section is to look at mobility in the broadest sense of the word. The team that is carrying out this study will therefore investigate how we can make qualitative and future-oriented improvements to both the junctions and the wider environment.