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Belgium: A Small Country Thinks Big About Transportation Safety

Episode 168 of “Perils for Pedestrians” takes viewers off the beaten tourist path in Belgium, ­ literally. Belgian community activists show how they have updated historic rural and urban trails by reclaiming pedestrian and bicycle paths.

 
PRLog - Jan. 29, 2011 - Mention Belgium, and what comes to mind? Chocolate, lace, waffles, beer, the headquarters of the European Union? Surely Belgium is known for these, but if you didn't also include “transportation hub of Europe” in that list, you'd be leaving out another distinction for this small country -- producing big successes in transportation safety. The newest episode of “Perils for Pedestrians”, airing February 1st at 7:30 p.m. EST on The Universityhouse Channel, goes on location in Belgium, showcasing some noteworthy examples of ways in which Belgian pedestrian and bicycle activists are not only making their roadways safer, but also preserving their country’s history in new and exciting ways. Here are a few highlights of segments from Episode 168 that tell the story of how they did it:


·        Program host John Z. Wetmore brings his cameras to a medieval country footpath that winds past a picturesque church in Flanders. Joining him is Geert van Waeg of johanna.be, an advocacy organization that helps activists and local government officials work together to improve their communities. Using old maps and other historical documents, van Waeg describes how citizens reclaimed this part of the trail which had fallen away from public use and restored a “missing link” in a network of footpaths for the enjoyment of pedestrians and bicyclists.


·        From the countryside in Flanders, Wetmore takes viewers to the Belgian capital, Brussels. Van Waeg explains how his organization supported the local community in maintaining the public right of way on an urban footpath blocked by a shopping mall expansion. Through the use of historical records, johanna.be assisted local people and their government in coming up with a unique solution that the merchants could accept. You've got to see it to appreciate it!


·        The Royal Palace of Brussels is the official residence of the King of Belgium. It is situated on a wide street across from the Royal Park. A historical landmark of which Belgians are justly proud, the palace and its location are also a source of concern for some citizens who want to make the traffic infrastructure safer for natives and tourists. Wetmore interviews Michel van Roye who, together with van Waeg and johanna.be, are advocating for pedestrian crossings between the palace and the park.


·        Until World War II, Belgium had the most extensive railway network in Europe. As some of these railways fell into disuse, activists like Gilbert Perrin, president of the European Greenways Association, saw an opportunity to turn these former railway corridors into safe trails for pedestrians, bicycles and other non-motorized transport. He and others are also applying this concept to create footpaths along canals and rivers.


"Perils For Pedestrians" is a public affairs television series that looks at problems confronting pedestrians in their communities, and solutions to those problems from across the United States, and around the world. John Z Wetmore, host of the series, has interviewed advocates, engineers, planners, and public officials in all 50 states and in 15 foreign countries. In addition to The Universityhouse Channel on DISH Network 9411, "Perils For Pedestrians" appears on over 100 public access cable channels. Episode 168 can also be seen on Blip TV at: http://pedestrians.blip.tv.

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"Perils For Pedestrians" is a public affairs television series that looks at problems confronting pedestrians in communities like yours, and solutions to those problems from across the United States and around the world.

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Source:Perils For Pedestrians Television
City/Town:Bethesda - Maryland - United States
Industry:Transportation, Entertainment, Environment
Tags:pedestrian, bicycle, transportation, walk, bike, greenway, trail, path, brussels, Belgium, europe
Shortcut:prlog.org/11260593
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