GhentAntwerpsesteenweg in Sint-Amandsberg will become zone 30. This has been announced by the Flemish Minister of Mobility, Lydia Peeters (Open Vld). An exact timing is not yet available, but the adjustment will be “introduced in the coming months”.
With no less than three young victims in a week’s time, the residents of Sint-Amandsberg had enough. Ten schools, several parents’ committees and various neighborhood organizations demanded crisis consultations about the situation on Land van Waaslaan and Antwerpsesteenweg. According to the neighborhood, the access roads are too dangerous.
What was supposed to be an initial exploratory conversation had immediate results. On Wednesday morning, a few representatives together with councilor Filip Watteeuw (Groen) went to the cabinet of Flemish mobility minister Lydia Peeters (Open Government). The speed on Antwerpsesteenweg – between Potuitstraat and Dampoort – drops to 30 kilometers per hour.
“We sent the first letter more than a year ago,” says local resident Gie Bauget (66). “But we ran into a letter from the Norwegian Road and Traffic Authority. Now the case has gained momentum. Three teenagers were hit by a car last week. This time they escaped unscathed. Fortunately, for once, we’re not waiting for people to die.”
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Neighborhood circulation plan
Zone 30 should be a reality within a few months. But the intention is that the Antwerpsesteenweg between Nieuwelaan and Dampoort should be in the hands of the city of Ghent as soon as possible. It will be a local road, so Ghent City itself chooses how the road looks. From wider cycle paths to better-lit crossings: Today, the city is still knocking on the door of Flanders.
In addition to Antwerpsesteenweg, Land van Waaslaan was also discussed on Wednesday. The Swedish Road and Traffic Agency (AWV) also wants to intervene. Narrowing the carriageway and widening the cycle paths are all possible, but the situation is complex.
For example, the city of Ghent is finalizing the neighborhood circulation plan for Sint-Amandsberg. This will be introduced in 2024, and Land van Waaslaan is one of the decisive axes of the plan. “We must first wait for the effects of the plan,” says AWV. A vision that Ghent mayor Filip Watteuw does not agree with at all. “Why wait? We know very well where we want to go as a city.”
In time, the city of Ghent also hopes to take Land van Waaslaan under its own management, but that is still in the future. “The AWV has not yet given any signal that this is possible,” says Watteeuw. – But we are of course open to it. Undoubtedly to be continued.
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