Brussels City Council Urges Swift Action to Combat Noise Pollution

Brussels: As the clamor of vehicle engines and exhausts continues to disrupt the peace of neighborhoods like the Heysel Plateau, the Brussels City Council has sounded a clarion call for immediate action from the Brussels Region. 

With unanimous support, the council passed a motion authored by Nieuw-Vlaamse Alliantie (N-VA) councilor Mathias Vanden Borre, urging targeted measures to curb the menace of urban racing and its accompanying noise pollution.

Despite the implementation of existing measures such as Low Emission Zones and reduced speed limits, the cacophony persists, especially pronounced during the tranquil hours of the night alongside the Brussels Canal

The Belgian road safety institute VIAS reports marginal improvements, with noise levels dipping by 3 to 4 decibels following the reduction of speed limits from 50 to 30 kph.

The Heysel Plateau, a focal point of urban racing activities, has seen concerted efforts from the City to quell the disturbances. 

These include frequent police interventions and the confiscation of vehicles involved in reckless driving, totaling 64 administrative and 2 judicial seizures last year alone.

Brussels Mobility has also joined forces with law enforcement to tackle noisy motorcycles prowling the city streets. 

Through a partnership, vehicles found in violation of noise standards are promptly subjected to technical checks. In a recent operation in Poelaert, five two-wheelers were flagged for evaluation.

Innovative solutions, such as noise radars, are being explored to pinpoint and address noise peaks effectively. 

Brussels Environment has initiated a pilot project, showcasing promising results in identifying the loudest vehicles. However, the lack of necessary conformity certificates hinders their enforcement capabilities.

In response, the adopted motion implores the Brussels Region to expedite the approval of noise radars and establish a comprehensive regional regulation on motor vehicle noise. 

Additionally, continued collaboration between Brussels Mobility, law enforcement agencies, and certified technical inspection centers is sought to facilitate real-time assessments of noise standards.

While the motion garnered widespread support, some voices expressed reservations. 

Opposition leader David Weytsman of Mouvement Réformateur abstained from the vote, citing a desire for the motion to address the broader issue of noise pollution comprehensively. 

His sentiments were echoed by Didier Wauters of Les Engagés, who, despite reservations, cast a favorable vote. The urgency to address noise pollution resonates deeply with residents and stakeholders alike. 

As Brussels seeks to uphold its reputation as a vibrant yet serene urban landscape, concerted efforts must be made to mitigate the disruptive impact of vehicular noise. 

With the ball now in the court of regional authorities, the eyes of Brussels remain fixed on swift and decisive action to restore peace to its streets.

 

This article was created using automation technology and was thoroughly edited and fact-checked by one of our editorial staff members

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