THINGS ARE LOOKING UP IN MADOU
– 11 February 2016 –
The Madou district is emerging from its hibernation with renewed attractiveness and enhanced comfort for all those who use it. Despite lower shopping traffic in May 2015 (- 6.2 %*), the chaussée de Louvain in its latest guise appears to be a hit with Saint-Josse residents and commuters alike. The most recent surveys carried out this past October indicate increased foot traffic (+ 4.9 %*) at certain specific points. In this swinging district you could say Madou no longer has the blues.
*Compared to surveys in 2014
From 2009 to 2011, the numbers for pedestrian traffic along the commercial arteries in the Madou district fell steadily. Although there was a significant increase in 2012, they again plummeted in 2014. As recently published in the baromètre 2016 from Atrium.Brussels, the figures for 2015 also show a decrease compared to 2014 (-6.2%).
There is good news, however. The latest surveys carried out in October 2015 show a significant increase in traffic for the points measured which are located at n° 6 on Place Madou and at n° 56 and n° 100 on the chaussée de Louvain. This therefore makes an increase, since September 2014, of +4.9%. Compared to the results for May 2015, the evolution is even close to +10%!
The increase in numbers of pedestrians in 2012 corresponds to the installation of the semi-pedestrian area ‘Walking Madou’ on the chaussée de Louvain. The relapse subsequently observed in September 2014 and May 2015 is unquestionably associated with the many new developments in terms of mobility management.
The pedestrian area was basically dismantled and the chaussée de Louvain was reopened to cars in March 2013. Finally, in June 2015, the decision was taken to once again ban access to road traffic and to go ahead with provisional development measures. This would appear to explain the distinct increase in visitors to the district observed in October 2015.
The Brussels Capital Region is preparing a definitive plan that will allow for the best integration of safe, two-way bicycle paths on the small ring road and improved comfort and safety for pedestrians as well as the smooth flow of public transport.
In the meantime, various provisional measures were taken in early June 2015 by Bruxelles Mobilité. On and around the Place Madou, an esplanade was created, and plant installations, a stage, seating platforms and picnic tables were installed. The sidewalks on the chaussée de Louvain were widened and greenery was added, and the automobile traffic was diverted to rue Scailquin.
Atrium.Brussels conducted a satisfaction survey among 128 users of the district in order to measure the impact of each one of these interventions.
Overall, it is clear that the temporary measures have generated satisfaction among the users of the district. The greenery added to the Place Madou and the chaussée de Louvain are highly appreciated by the respondents. The esplanade created on the Place Madou has also been fairly well received by the public.
Furthermore, although the majority of those surveyed had not yet tested the urban furniture provided, the feeling appears to be unanimous. Users seem to appreciate the picnic tables and the public benches as well as the stage and the seating platforms.
The measures have also had a positive impact on the quality of life and the experience of the users of the district. This applies to the sense of safety as well as the cleanliness and the widening of the sidewalks, as surveyed. On the other hand, on the issue of banning cars on the chaussée de Louvain opinions are more divided.
We can conclude that it is the sense of safety created by these new installations that has generated the greatest satisfaction among users. The cleanliness and comfort of the sidewalks is also a source of satisfaction. On the other hand, the semi-pedestrian zone does not appear to be appreciated unanimously, with 54.7% of people in favour versus 30.5% opposed.
Generally speaking, the provisional development measures are having a positive impact on the district. The comfort and safety of users as well as the attractiveness have all been enhanced. This is an encouraging sign for Bruxelles Mobilité in anticipation of the results of the definitive measures to be taken in the district.