Car-free Sundays extended in Brussels


The Brussels high street passing the Bourse in the heart of the city centre will be closed to all traffic from 12 noon each Sunday.

The City authorities seem to have yielded to protesters led by the philosopher Philippe Van Parijs who organised a sit down picnic on the Boulevard Anspach last weekend in protest at the City of Brussels’ transport policy. In face of the protest and the volume of people taking part,  the Mayor of the City of Brussels Freddy Thielemans announced the closure of the street for the duration of the picnic.

Political support has been mounting to the pic nic strategies and the City authorities have announced that starting Sunday 24 June until the end of the summer, anyone wishing to pic-nic or just sunbathe on the Bvd Anspach will be able to do so every Sunday from 12 noon.

The organisers of last Sunday’s picnic describe Mayor Thielemans’ decision as “a first step”. However, they are still waiting for the city to develop of vision for transport policy in the capital.

The organisers say that: “This shows that it is possible to achieve something without the aid of political parties or subsidies. This is a reward for all those that came and pick-nicked with us last Sunday.”

Meanwhile, the Brussels regional Secretary of State responsible for Transport Bruno De Lille has thrown his weight behind the car-free movement and stated that:  “The battle for a pleasant and traffic-free square in front of the Stock Exchange is needed more than ever.They’ve already given us half a day, let the other 6.5 days follow.”