The signposting of the new cycling node network is being inaugurated during the launch of Mobility week in Brussels (from 16 to 22 September). By the end of the year, the entire network will be signposted. The Brussels-Capital Region will then have its own visible network of cycling nodes.
The concept of nodes originated in Limburg. In the rest of Flanders, in Wallonia and in our neighboring countries, cycling nodes are now well-established. A group of volunteers felt that Brussels should not be left behind. In 2020, they launched a digital network of cycling nodes called bikenode.brussels. There’ll now be physical signage too.
1. From node to node
visit.brussels, responsible for the promotion of tourism in the Brussels-Capital Region, was commissioned to create the physical signposting. Brussels Mobility funded it and provided the necessary technical expertise. The signs along the routes are intended to ensure that cyclists do not have to look at their screens and can fully enjoy their ride.
In total, this covers more than 65 nodes over 220km. Cyclists can use an app (RouteYou, Fietsknoop, etc.) to map out their own route. In addition, there are a number of themed routes available to you. These are being developed by visit.brussels, along with the association Pro Velo. The aim is to allow visitors to discover Brussels in a different way.
This new attraction contributes to the development of more sustainable tourism.Rudi Vervoort, Minister-President of the Brussels-Capital Region
2. The first signs
The initial research was into where to put the cycling nodes. This was followed by the permit phase and the placement of the first signs. Particular attention was paid to making maximum use of the (many) existing poles in the urban environment. While more than 2,200 signs are set to be installed, there will be fewer than 30 new supports. The numbers associated with the nodes are shown in green.
They are barely 20cm wide, so they will not be a nuisance to other users. The signs do not conflict with other signage in the forest either. By the end of the year, the clearly signposted network will allow cyclists to ride from node to node.
The singposting makes it easier to follow a route within the region or across regional borders. From Bruges to Brussels or a nice ride from Evere to EtterbeekElke Van den Brandt, Mobility Minister
3. Decentralization of tourism
The network extends throughout the region. This encourages cyclists to discover tourist sites of interest in each of the Brussels’ communes. The node network also highlights the region’s many green spaces which receive special attention. The aim is to introduce cyclists to the Promenade Verte/Groene Wandeling or the Sonian Forest, for example.
This fits within visit.brussels’ strategy of promoting active mobility in Brussels to tourists and the decentralization of tourism. This is intended to ensure that tourists not only seek out the popular attractions in the city centre, but also make their way to the outlying neighborhoods in the region.