On the Sint-Michiels side, the station area in Bruges has been converted into one large square for pedestrians and cyclists. The square lies partly at ground level and is partly sunken. Motorized traffic from the Albertlaan and surrounding streets has been removed and is being absorbed on an elevated roundabout, the so-called balcony roundabout. Local residents, tram and bus users, pupils and students can now move and linger safely. In a second phase of the project, pleasant and socially safe pedestrian and cyclist tunnels are being built under the rails, towards the city centre.
Partner: Zwarts & Jansma
Client: City of Bruges and AWV West-Vlaanderen
The proposal is the result of an integrated design process on which architects, urban planners, landscape architects, traffic experts, construction engineers and a sustainability and communications coach have intensively worked together. Intense consultations with the roads authority (Flemish Roads and Traffic Agency) and the public transport provider (De Lijn) led to the right traffic solutions for the regular bus services.
The appreciation for this alteration is significant and soon the local newspaper was already able to report on increased traffic safety following the realization. “Station neighbourhood is safer following construction of the balcony roundabout” (Nieuwsblad/De Standaard 11 March 2015). With this design Sweco laid down a daring concept wherein the pedestrians and cyclists formed the basis of the layout.