Roads must be viewed in the largest sense, i.e. as meeting places for all users: motorists, bus drivers, lorry drivers, motorcyclists, cyclists, pedestrians, and persons with impaired mobility. Rational and optimized use of public space by these various categories depends on the definition and implementation of mobility policies that are consistent in their various aspects: information to road users, pricing and tax system for each mode, public space planning and development of infrastructure and engineering structures, spatial distribution of functions, etc. The systematic evaluation of public space redevelopment projects is a key stage in the process towards a better quality of public space for the benefit of future users.
In 2010, the Mobility – Safety – Road Management Division of BRRC was mandated to co-represent Belgium in a joint working group of OECD and the International Transport Forum on Cycling Safety. This group was formed to exchange international experience on the risks involved in bicycle use, and with cycling facilities. The long-term objective was to provide guidelines for improving cycling safety based on a detailed review of best statistics and analyses available and on case studies of measures implemented in participating countries. The relationship between cycling and health was also a topic for the working group. The final report was published in 2013.
In order to achieve homogeneity and consistency in providing facilities throughout Wallonia, SPW entrusted BRRC with the drafting of a guide of good practice for cycle infrastructure. The main purpose of this guide is to provide all public bodies (regions, municipalities, etc.) and organizations (engineering consultancy firms, etc.) involved in cycle facilities with an easy-to-use reference work in which they can rapidly find the necessary information for the provision of a consistent and safe facilitiy that is suitable for all. The guide consists of two theoretical booklets complemented by technical fact sheets.
There are many reference books on cycle infrastructure. As a result, local and regional planners sometimes appear to be inundated with information and find it difficult to select the solution that best fits their specific situation.
Moreover, the legislation in force for cyclists is manifold, complicated and constantly amended. The Belgian highway code and road managers’ code gather all the legislation on road traffic as a whole, in which it is sometimes difficult to find the required “cycle” information quickly.