We have the perfect spring transport storm for some of you: trains, roads, trams and back to the office 2 days a week. The infrastructure work is ongoing all over but the benefits will not be felt for a while. Let’s start with cross-border travel.
Meanwhile, the Commission has been bogged down with the preparation of its new mobility plan for the past 2 years (at the current pace, by the time the plan comes out, it will be obsolete…). Continue reading Cycling allowance→
Bruxsel’air, a Brussels pro clean air group, is organizing a drink on the space currently blocked for works on Rue de la Loi on the 22nd of August. Ministers of the newly elected Brussels region government were invited and everyone’s presence is important to show that we need a proper clean air policy for our city.
Be there and help support this important cause. It’s your health, it’s your future!
When Greta Thunberg, a 15-year-old Swedish girl first appeared in front of delegates to the 2018 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Katowice, not many people knew her. She spoke on behalf of Climate Justice Now. In her three and a half minute speech, she spoke about climate change and absolutely nailed it. She attended the conference in the capacity of being the child who started the movement of school strikes over climate change. Since then she became a well-respected figure seen everywhere around Europe where those Friday strikes take place and was even invited to the World Economic Forum in Davos this year where she dared to tell political and business leaders: “I want you to panic. I want you to feel the fear I feel every day.” Continue reading Climate Change, 15 of March 2019→
OIB and DG HR released earlier this month the results of their latest staff survey on mobility. Some interesting results, albeit somewhat disappointing: the number of cyclists and people walking to work has increased but this seems to be at the expense of the number of people using public transport rather than at the expense of private cars. This suggests that the institutions could do more to encourage people to give up their private cars. The current incentive is limited to a 50% subsidy on season STIB and SNCB passes, basically a few ten euros per month. Cyclists also get access to free parking and showers (in most buildings) but no lockers (with a few exceptions) to store spare clothes and a towel. Pedestrians get nothing, despite having to pay presumably higher rents/mortgages in order to live close to their office. Continue reading Sustainable mobility in Brussels→
Many of us are concerned with the air quality of the cities where we live and work. The Brussels region is slowly waking up on this issue. They recently released data on black carbon pollution levels in Brussels. These measurements are the results of a citizen science program called ExpAir in which some of our colleagues took part. Each participant was given a little box to measure black carbon both outdoor and indoor. Black carbon is a subset of the micro-particles that are subject to the EU legislation on air quality (it makes about 10% of the total mass of PM10 micro-particles, but it is potentially the most harmful part of these particles as it is a direct product of combustion and moreover it can aggregate all sorts of volatile organic compounds that are harmful to our health, including a number of carcinogenic substances). Continue reading Air quality in Brussels→
You might have seen the communication from/between some trade unions about their reserved parking spaces in the building that hosts the staff representation. Generation 2004 has better things to do than waste its time in these endless disputes. However, for the record, we would like to recall that we took a very clear position more than 2 years ago on this issue: no reserved parking space for anyone1, not even staff representatives. We are against any sort of unjustified privilege and we practice what we preach. Logically G2004 does not have any reserved spaces. We take a certain pride in seeing that some unions are joining us on this position, albeit with a 2-year delay… A shame that DG HR did not respond to our demand 2 years ago.
Let’s hope that the current controversy will now lead DG HR to reconsider its position and abolish reserved parking spaces. Some of these saved parking spaces could for instance be converted into proper locker rooms and showers for the increasing number of cyclists and for colleagues, who go running or who want to work out during their lunch break. These are sorely missing, particularly in the buildings where the upper floor of the parking deck is reserved for the trade unions (spaces which according to colleagues stand mostly empty anyway…).