No to the closing of the Bois de la Cambre!
The City of Brussels, who is the sole administrator, has unilaterally decided to close the Bois de la Cambre for traffic by car.
The Bois de la Cambre is a very important traffic axis that permits inhabitants a quick access to the critical car trajectory’s of Brussels with its well-known mobility problems.
Since April 2012 the Bois de la Cambre is partially closed to car traffic at the weekends and on holidays but some of the trajectory’s stay accessible for vehicles.
On March 19th 2020 the city of Brussels, because of social distancing rules, decided to close the Bois de la Cambre completely to all traffic so hickers and other sports practitioners would be able to use the parc while still complying with the social distancing rules. By unilateral decision the city of Brussels has now decided to extend this measure until the end of august.
Uccle is the first municipality that was a direct victim of this decision. As many other citizens who live south of Brussels, people from Uccle use the Bois de la Cambre on a daily basis.
The closing of the Bois de la Cambre does not make any sense, apart from the lockdown measures of course, not ecologically nor economically.
On one hand this shift of traffic, from streets as the Chaussée de Waterloo, will cause considerable pollution. And on the other hand it will encourage people to shop outside of Brussels as the accessibility of shops on the Chaussée de Waterloo will be put under further restraint.
The closing of the Bois de la Cambre can’t be enforced at the expense of inhabitants nor merchants adjacent to the Chaussée de Waterloo; this causeway is a main road for local traffic and the traffic of commuters coming from Rhode-Saint-Genèse and Waterloo
The closing of the Bois de la Cambre will also cause a problem for the accessibility of hospitals south of Brussels and this for users as well as the emergency services.
The easing of the lockdown measures has begun: presence at the workplace has been partially renewed thus causing less walkers at the Bois de la Cambre during the day. Moreover this health crisis is causing less people to use public transportation and more people to go by bike or car.
There is absolutely no reason to keep the Bois de la Cambre closed as it, even when accessible to cars, is permanently open for walkers.
Uccle should not bear the consequences of the decision to close a main road as it was made by a different municipality. The worldwide health crisis can not be used as an excuse for a political strategy that would put the Brussels Region, it’s mobility and it’s environment under further restraint.
As the mayor of Uccle has mentioned before : ‘As it is important to encourage people who use their bike as a way of transportation, we can not ignore those who use their car to go to work. The definite closing of the Bois de la Cambre would be madness, both economically as regarding to transportation.
That is why we urge the City of Brussels to clear it’s adjacent roads with the following decisions:
The Bois de la Cambre should be reopened as soon as possible for motorists or at the very least partially.
Leastways the City of Brussels should impose the same rules on weekdays as those who were in effect before this crisis for weekends and holidays.
Diane Culer, MR group leader in the Uccle City Council
Aurélie Czekalski, vice-chairman of the MR of Uccle
Diane Culer & Aurélie Czekalski Contact the author of the petition
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