A careful follow-up of the dynamics and the effects of the Brussels pedestrian zone is crucial. Only by collecting objective data and information, the impact of this intervention can be analyzed and the public debate can happen in a serene way.
The BSI-Brussels Center Observatory – gathering about 40 academics and researchers from five different universities - has already started collecting mobility data and coordinating the research group to analyze the functioning of the Brussels pedestrian zone.
The third working group focuses on the impact analysis of accessibility and travel behavior. The Observatory works with existing data, which are consolidated, such as counts of pedestrian fluxes. In order to supplement these data and get an idea of (the changes) in travel behavior and the attractiveness of the pedestrian zone, a large-scale survey must be conducted. This mobility survey is, of course, linked to the various phases of the pedestrianization project and the possibilities and constraints associated with it (such as the absence of an analog survey before the project started). In the absence of a new major national survey such as BELDAM, this project proposal entails an additional and entirely complementary research conducted within the framework of the BSI Observatory and for which a first portfolio of results is available to the wider public.
The purpose of the research is to gain insight into the impact of the pedestrian zone on the travel behavior of visitors, residents and employees. The existing data sets do not allow the following questions to be answered within this topic.
The first part focuses on: “What is the travel behavior of visitors, residents and employees that use the pedestrian zone? Has the modal choice of these groups of people been affected by the introduction of the pedestrian zone (coupled with changes in public transport and parking facilities)? Does this affect their shopping behavior? To what degree are they satisfied with their experiences in terms of mobility and accessibility, and do other factors play a role in this (such as safety, cleanliness, social interaction, etc.)?”
The second part covers the question: “How was the pedestrian zone in relation to traffic volumes (road traffic, public transport, cycling) and parking?”
Based on a large-scale follow-up survey, this research focuses on the implementation of the pedestrian zone in terms of travel behavior and satisfaction. This survey will be conducted as soon as possible after the project has started (preferably for the planned construction works). It is at the same time a benchmark for a second survey that will be repeated in a follow-up project, 6 months after the end of the construction works, so that an evolution can be observed and analyzed.
The second part involves an in-depth analysis of existing data on traffic flows based upon a.o. the analysis of the 2017 Bedrijfsvervoersplannen (collected by the Administration of Brussels Environment – IBGE-BIM)) and a comparison with the data obtained in 2014 and 2011 (USL-B CES).