A massive bicycle police presence to protect our space

©Barry Sandland/TIMB - Bicycle police reinforcing the pedestrian area in Brussels city centre

©Barry Sandland/TIMB – A steady police presence in the city centre

As summer approaches, this reinforcement will be reassuring for cyclists and pedestrians alike.
Brussels has a schizophrenic relationship with cycling. While there are a lot of cycling police, there seems to  be less enforcement of the rules from their driving counterparts – at least against the drivers. I have been stopped four times by police who have spoken to me about turning right on a  red light. Problem was, at each and every intersection I was permitted to do just that. There are signs to that effect.

Meanwhile, cars park or drive on cycling paths where cyclists are forced to ride into the traffic to get by. Drivers race to pass cyclists only to turn right directly int front of them. I have never seen a driver spoken to. Not once. I will give that they might, MIGHT, honk their horn and tell the driver to move on and leave the cycling pathway. No tickets. Ever. And we get doored all too often. Just last month, two cyclists were doored by two government cabinet ministers (one was the Minister for Health) as the cyclists rode and the passengers opened doors into the cycling path. Twice. Just a  minute apart.

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