While Antwerp is at the top of all international lists of bicycle-friendly cities, Ghent continues to declare itself the cycling city of Flanders. And not entirely unjustified, because one thing is clear from the start, you have to have the guts to keep the cars out in the city centre. With the introduction of the circulation plan, it has been forbidden to cross Ghent by car for four years now. Many parking spaces were also deleted to make Ghent as unfriendly as possible for visitors who come to visit by car. If you want to come to Korenlei by car to spend the night at the Marriott Hotel, you can reach it via Drabstraat and park in the deep cellars of the hotel. You then pay EUR 40 extra per night for your stay.
Ghent is not on those lists of bicycle-friendly cities because it is just not big enough as a city to be researched. Completely against the wishes of the catering industry, they continued to make the city center of Ghent car-free, but when they heard that they could build terraces thanks to the extra space that had become available, the reluctance quickly passed.
Here are the Gentenaars worden spoiled and ten thousand cyclists ride in and out of the city every day. The 'Coupure' runs along the Ghent-Bruges canal. The former street is now the most beautiful bicycle street in Flanders. The former cycle path is now for pedestrians. Ghent has 432 kilometers of bicycle paths and 13 kilometers of bicycle streets. Shared bicycles are widely available. The number of bicycle fatalities is quite low, but the number of minor injuries is quite high compared to other cities. And the tram tracks have a lot to do with that. The tracks squeeze between the cobblestones like spaghetti and many bicycle wheels want to end up in them. At the head of the Veldstraat near the Korenmarkt you have to watch out.
In Ghent, in the period 2013-2018, more than EUR 15 million was invested in cycling infrastructure. 55 large-scale cycling projects have been realized or started up and more than 200 smaller interventions have made cycling in Ghent a lot safer and more pleasant. New bicycle underpasses were opened at Isabellakaai, Nieuwevaartbrug and Rozemarijnbrug. New bicycle bridges were built towards the Parkbos, over the side arm of the Watersportbaan and to the Krook. A start was made on the construction of a bicycle tunnel under the Dampoort and a bicycle bridge between the Bellevue and the Stropkaai. And many streets and roads, such as Brusselsesteenweg, Antwerpsesteenweg and Gasmeterlaan, were given new cycle paths. In total good for more than 60 km of new or renovated cycling infrastructure.
Also read: Dutch KAR must make Ghent tram faster