January 29, 2023

Taylor Daily Press

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Herentals City Council unexpectedly drives bikes around the center ... (Herentals)

Herentals City Council unexpectedly drives bikes around the center … (Herentals)

The permanent reduction in Wuytsbergen will not return, but the street will be restricted to local traffic and will be converted into a bike zone. © Hans Oten


The approach to transit in Wuytsbergen takes a very unexpected turn: the city council of Herentals has decided to turn the street into a bicycle area, and thus the entire city center.

Hans Oten

Steady cut with tree beds or virtual cut with smart cameras: Choosing between these two options to block traffic and reduce speed in the Wuytsbergen region kept half of the Herentals occupied last year. The steering group, which included representatives of the local population, was unable to come up with unequivocal advice in November. That is why the mayor and local council members made the decision themselves: Wuytsbergen-Ekelen will become a bicycle zone.

This is a series of bicycle streets, with a maximum speed of 30 kilometers per hour. Moreover, motorized traffic is prohibited from overtaking cyclists in the cycling area. This decision is certainly surprising, because this option was not the subject of preparation tests last year. In Wuytsbergen-Ekelen, the city council is immediately linking the local traffic restrictions to the new measure.

The whole city center

“At the same time, we are deciding that the entire city center within the circuit will become a cycling zone, where a speed limit of 30 kilometers per hour also applies,” the city council announced. In this way we ensure that interventions in the residential area of ​​Wuytsbergen-Ekelen will not lead to poor traffic quality and reduced safety on central streets. Furthermore, this decision also contributes to the city’s ambition to achieve a cosmetic transformation from car to bike.”

Within the old castles, actually the center of the old town of Herentals, there has been a zone 30 system in place for several years now, and it now extends essentially to all streets outside the old town centre, as long as they are within the Ringlaan. Additionally, a cycling zone system has been added to that as well, except for streets where there is already a full cycle path.

as soon as possible

The consultancy, which is already responsible for creating the commuting and parking plan, is now receiving the message that “30kph bike zones within built-up areas are the starting point across the Herentals.” “We want to introduce this measure as soon as possible and communicate after the new year about the realistic timing,” it appears.

The sudden plot twist prompted most of the people involved in the Wuytsbergen dossier to open their mouths on Tuesday. “The city council always talks about getting involved, but now it’s abruptly retreating from its tall tower, without any consultation, the decision to have the entire center become a bike zone,” said Jan Bertels (Vorwett), who spoke at the city council on Tuesday evening. Wuytsbergen file. “Certainly in mobility issues it is very important to have support. You can only achieve that by letting people know. Now the Herentalcinar family read in the newspaper on Wednesday that there will be a designated bike area, without them knowing what that means. This only serves to more polarization.

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