This project aims to:
- Rearrange car traffic in the university area (limit through traffic)
- Improve the operation of buses 71 and 95 (in terms of circulation, limitation of friction with other road users, redesign of bus stops, …)
- Redesign the bus stops “Cimetière d’Ixelles/Begraafplaats van Elsene”, “Thys” and “Etterbeek Gare/Etterbeek Station”, which are among the most frequently used stops, in order to ensure their compliance to the most recent accessibility standards.
- Create an efficient multimodal public transport hub around Etterbeek train station.
- Improve the circulation of active modes in these streets and towards pont Fraiteur/Fraiteurbrug.
- Revitalise and improve the busy public spaces in this commercial, university and residential area of Ixelles/Elsene.
Redesign of pont Fraiteur/Fraiteurbrug
At the end of 2020 Infrabel completed the redesign of pont Fraiteur/Fraiteurbrug, whereby the road width has been increased from 8.20 to14 m. This project aims to
- Limit through traffic in the area between Boondael/Boondaal and the university.
- Improve the circulation and regularity of bus 71 as part of its upgrade to a high service level bus.
- Ensure that pedestrians and cyclists can safely use the streets connecting campuses Plaine and Solbosch.
Temporary changes to road layout
In January 2021, following the redesign of pont Fraiteur/Fraiteurbrug, Brussels Mobility has put in place trial changes to road layout in a limited part of the project area. This test will lead to preliminary conclusions that will serve as valuable input for the redesign of the whole area.
These trial changes have been designed to test some of the project main elements:
- Buses and cyclists entering the neighbourhood have a bus + bike (and taxi) lane up to the junction with rue Thys/Thysstraat and benefit hereby from reduced traffic. Between the junctions Fraiteur-Thys and Thys-Couronne/Kroon only local traffic is allowed; between the junction Thys-Couronne/Kroon and the roundabout of Cimetière d’Ixelles/Begraafplaats van Elsene, traffic is now significantly less heavy.
- On the newly designed bridge, the overhanging extension on the side of Etterbeek train station has been reserved for pedestrians only and no longer needs to be shared between pedestrians and cyclists.
- The junction Fraiteur-Couronne/Kroon has been completely redesigned in order to allow safe pedestrian crossings and crossing in a straight line. The traffic flow coming from the bridge has been suppressed, hereby giving priority to bus 71 but not to the disadvantage of bus 95.
This phase is essential as it will lay the foundation for our analyses. In coordination and collaboration with Brussels Mobility, a project will then be set up based on the results of their trial changes to road layout.
And what about STIB/MIVB?
For its part, STIB/MIVB has submitted a project to redesign the bus stops “Etterbeek Gare/Etterbeek Station” following the major restructuring of the bus lines (Brussels bus plan) in this area. This project will allow to relocate the bus stops in order to meet the needs of the newly created bus line 72 that will be coming from Cimetière d’Ixelles/Begraafplaats van Elsene and will be turning left on the boulevard Général Jacques/Generaal Jacqueslaan. The new location of the bus stops will also create a direct connection with the new exit of Etterbeek train station that Infrabel has planned as part of its renovation. The new bus stops aim to create a multimodal zone with SNCB/NMBS (Etterbeek train station), the existing and future bus lines, as well as with the existing (boulevard Général Jacques/Generaal Jacqueslaan) and future tram lines.
This project will also allow STIB/MIVB to carry out compliance changes the other bus stops in the area (Cimetière d’Ixelles/Begraafplaats van Elsene and Thys) that are currently not fully meeting the required standards.
The redesigned bus stops will then meet the most recent accessibility standards, as well as the quality requirements for highly frequented stops.
Lastly, in the context of the AVANTI studies and with a view to improving passenger comfort, this project aims to turn bus lines 71 and 95 into the most performant and regular lines of our network.
The urban planning application required for this project will be submitted in the second half of 2022.
Barring unforeseen events and circumstances, the final redesign works are expected to start in 2022/2023.
A public information meeting has taken place by videoconference on Wednesday 23 June, during which the project goals have been presented in more detail.
Here is a link to the presentation given that day.
To be kept informed on future meetings, please register via the online information form.