Belgian mayor Lies Laridon: “The concept of a cycle street has been included in the Belgian highway code since 2012”

Belgian mayor Lies Laridon: “The concept of a cycle street has been included in the Belgian highway code since 2012”.

We should strive for international traffic rules in the world. It could solve a lot of problems as well. After all, English and American tourists do not understand certain parts of our Belgian highway code.

– Andy Vermaut

DIKSMUIDE, WEST-VLAANDEREN, BELGIë, December 25, 2021 / – Andy Vermaut from the Belgian-European municipality Dixmude who has lived for more than 5 years in the center of Diksmuide in a corner house on the corner of a regional and local street is concerned about bicycle safety in Diksmuide and could therefore ask the People’s Mayor an oral question Laridon Lies on the online city council of December 20, 2021 at the administrative town hall of Diksmuide.

Belgian Mayor Lies Laridon thanked Andy Vermaut for his question and let him know that she certainly shares his concern about road safety in Diksmuide. Lies Laridon states: “Road safety is a shared responsibility of road authorities and different road users (walkers, cyclists, motorists …) There are different road authorities such as the city (for local streets like Grote Dijk, Kleine Dijk) and AWV (Road and Traffic Administration for Regional Streets) such as Breyne Peelaertstraat and Oostendestraat. Cycle street has only been part of the highway code since 2012 and many people with a previous driving license do not know the new highway code well enough. This is why we have produced additional panels (where the nature of the road allows). Police make efforts to enforce traffic rules: control over 30 km (18.64 mph) zone Where in the United States there is a speed limit in school zones of 15 to 25 mph in zones urban and suburban ”, explains Lies Laridon. “We organized a police action on November 25 – where 25% drove too fast – the highest speed was 67 km / h in zone 30, or 41.63 mph where people can only drive 18 , 64 mph. We are licensed for the Taking an Innovative Approach to Mobility (MIA) project and with AWV (Regional Roads and Traffic Administration) we are looking for ways to make small adjustments to infrastructure in an environment not regulated. Bollards have been erected at the corner of Oostendestraat / Grote Dijk to protect pedestrians at the corner. We are also looking for alternative slow routes for cyclists and pedestrians: a section of Begijnenvestwegel has already been completed from Beerstblotestraat to Noordvesten. Our ambition is to extend this road to the regional Oostendestraat or the local Galileistraat. To this end, we have appointed a negotiator in the hope of reaching an agreement with the owners of the land, ”explains Mayor Lies Laridon.

Jump for life
Andy Vermaut explains: “Our region is known as ‘Westhoek’ is more and more in demand by cyclists. Diksmuide is close to Ypres and we get more and more tourists here. Diksmuide was the scene of many bloody scenes during the First World War. and countless soldiers and civilians died here at the front lines. People come here by bicycle from everywhere. Definitely a must, but bike safety is also important. My dear daughter Sarah Vermaut also often likes to cycle here and sometimes I get scared because of the difficult traffic situations that can arise here in the city center of Diksmuide, where weak road users are sometimes not well noticed, which is why I understand that many cyclists also ride on the Ijzerlaan trail (a regional road where the Flemish region is responsible), due to the heavy traffic which sometimes comes very close to it. Even though Diksmuide is not responsible for regional roads, our local elected representatives can certainly try to urge the higher authorities of your Flemish Region to improve road safety on the regional roads which run through Diksmuide, also for weak road users, if applicable. I asked the mayor to review this, so that the higher authorities realize that we must act here? I realize that the city administration and the members of the city council have already made a big effort to improve the local quality of life and road safety. This is something that I certainly recognize and appreciate on the part of the local Diksmuide City Council. “

Flemish region
In Belgium the provinces were once responsible for the provincial roads, but this was transferred to the Flemish Region under the watchful eye of the Flemish government. Andy Vermaut: “For foreigners, Belgium seems to have a very complex state structure. In fact, it is quite logical. However, based on my limited overview of this situation, the Flemish Region may have taken too little action to improve regional roads. the safety of particularly vulnerable road users in the city center of Diksmuide. That is why I am asking, via the mayor, the whole city council to study whether measures could be taken on the Grote Dijk side (a local road) to improve road safety for all road users. Every day, a few inattentive motorists enter the local road “Grote Dijk”, often without realizing that they are entering a cycle street. Over the past five years, I have seen two cyclists lose their balance and fall badly, and I am not the only one. When people enter the local “Grote Dijk” road, they may not realize that they are doing so in a potentially dangerous situation. You really can’t surrender. In the last two weeks alone, I’ve almost been hit twice. First, I called the police myself, because I had to jump to save my life. However, due to the various powers, the municipality itself cannot take drastic measures in certain streets. Here, governance has sometimes been made difficult, because the city knows “sometimes” and in certain cases better the local situation “, explains Andy Vermaut.

Weak road users should also be careful
Andy Vermaut continues: “It is also my experience that some pedestrians are not always aware of the fact that they should not walk in the middle of the road when crossing the street. Most people are not aware of the danger of cars entering the street. without first stopping at the corner and seeing if anyone is coming before entering. It is also important to remember that other road users may not notice you or may make a mistake, which could result in serious injury or death. Belgian Highway Code, it is forbidden to endanger other road users, yet people are often harassed and victimized by the workload they endure. , for example by not slowing down when necessary. Responsible driving means making sure you don’t endanger the most vulnerable road users on the roads you share. This basic rule applies to all drivers, including cyclists and pedestrians, as well as adults and children on bicycles or mopeds. I’m also seeing more and more electric scooters popping up in the cityscape, where people often don’t realize how vulnerable they are either. In the meantime, I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude for your help in finding a successful solution to improve road safety for all in our city.

You cannot pass cyclists on a cycle street
Andy Vermaut explains everything further: “I am aware that the members of the municipal council of the Flemish / Belgian city of Diksmuide, including the mayor, have the best interest for all residents and all tourists and visitors who come to cycle. , walk and drive by car, motorbike or moped in the beautiful Belgian tourist town of Diksmuide. In the historic Belgian city of Ghent, police say that a cycle street is laid out as a cycle path and a large bicycle icon. You can drive on a cycle street with a car, but you cannot go faster than 30 km / h (18.64 mph). In a cycle street, you cannot pass cyclists with a car or other motor vehicles. In our city Diksmuide, a city as big as the whole of the Brussels region, I see that there are a lot of people who do not know this rule and do not know that they are not allowed to overtake cyclists. I would appreciate it if the Diksmuide City Hall would insist on this in the next edition of the Diksmuide City News magazine (Diksmuide Ijzersterk). I appreciate the efforts of Belgian Mayor Lies Laridon to improve road safety for all. Indeed, at the national level, she also sits on the board of directors of the CD&V (Christian Democratic Party). It’s great that she’s now in charge there, ”says Andy Vermaut. “In fact, we should be fighting for the 1st international highway code in the world. It could solve a lot of problems as well. After all, not only English but also American tourists do not understand certain parts of our highway code, ”concludes Andy Vermaut.

Info: Andy Vermaut – PostVersa vzw
+ +32 499357495
[email protected]
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