Belgians love cycling. Since Eddy Merckx we've had more cycling champions than we’ve played World Cup football games. Needless to say, cycling is a part of Belgian DNA. And although everybody loves cycling as a sport, it still hasn't become a habit to use a bike instead of a car to bridge short distances. That's one of the reasons why a lot of cities in Belgium lack decent cycling infrastructure and thus cycling culture.
As an experienced cyclist in Brussels I have fallen victim to insults and aggressive behaviour quite a lot now. Moreover it’s extremely frustrating that roads, even big avenues, lack sufficient and safe cycle lanes. In most cases you have to share the road with cars on so-called cycle lanes, which are often driven or parked on. The suggestion marks (painted bicycles on the road) are even worse and have no legal force. They just warn drivers that cyclist 'might ride here too'.
Brussels is rich in its diversity, and among different cultures living here there's also a well-represented (EU) expat community living and breathing the city. I know that a lot of my friends think similarly about the current, often dangerous situations on the road.
But what's the opinion of expats regarding cycling in Brussels? To determine this I launched an online mini-survey which focused on bicycle safety, cycling lanes, the bike-sharing system Villo! and the possible solutions to the problem.
In total 202 people responded to the survey in a period of nearly three weeks (24 January - 12 February). Promotion was principally done via Twitter. The results below are quite striking!
I want to thank graphic designer Bert Sap for designing this infographic.