School environment Elzestraat, St. Katelijne-Waver
Schoolchildren had to make their way to school along the busy street with many obstacles and no safe infrastructure for cyclists and pedestrians. Reason enough for the municipality to tackle the school environment as a priority during the 2017-2018 village centre renovation. The combination of a smart design with raised squares and new regulations, including the introduction of a ‘30 zone’, brought about a change in the dominant position of the car. Parking spaces within a radius of 150 metres from the school gates were replaced by an awning with generous bicycle parking space. In addition, space was provided to park cargo bicycles and a kiss-and-ride zone was incorporated. An existing green strip was turned into a garden.
The development of the school street is not an isolated event, but is embedded in the surrounding landscape and character of the village. The design focuses on space for encounters, play and environmental quality in strategic places. The design is based on the idea that mobility can only change sustainably if there is a permanent sense that the car is a guest. In Elzestraat, this is achieved by frequently interrupting the driving lane, which is interspersed with a series of small squares.