GFR vs fietsknooppunt - no photo finish needed

Mis à jour : juil. 4

I was visiting the trade faire Bike Brussels on 23rd of September. The number of electric powered vehicles on wheels (one wheel, two wheels, cargo,…) were really impressive in the offering and it was possible to really try out all of them.


Regarding the bike routes the exhibit of the province of Vlaams Brabant made clear what the power is of the fietsknoopnetwork system:

- A clear map of the possibilities;

- A clear and standard signage;

- A clear suggestion of routes with separate leaflet (here leaflet of geuzeroute - visiting beer heritage !)



The contrast with the Brussels regional offering was striking and a sign that the Brussels policy makers have not yet embraced recreational bike as a priority:

- two different exhibit booths, one from Brussel mobiliteit with the Bike for Brussels logo; and the other from Visit. Brussels with the be bike be Brussels logo.


The first one showed the GFR or IFR routes; these are 19 interregional cycling routes; the leaflet indicates the two type of panels

- Information panel (direction, intermediate and final distance, train and metro station)

- Information panel at crossing of two roadsRoad marks is applied with two bike logos and they are changing when the route changes


So here is the spaghetti of these 19 routes; I have never used them and have heard so many trying to get out of the 19 communes for a bike route on Saturday that had to scramble with finding the link to the next ‘fietsknooppunt’ around Brussels.



I tried the bike trip planner , which is a beta version from summer of code 2018, and it is not functional/usable (the map is not displayed properly for example) routeplanner.bike.brussels


The second booth displayed the thematic routes made by visit.brussels , interesting in terms of depth of content. However it remains a not very functional paper brochureware, not easy and the link www.visit.brussels/bike is not working.


The attraction for the visitors of the booth of Vlaams Brabant and conversion between information and action (going on a bike and visiting) is striking thanks to the readability that the knooppunt system brings before and during the touristic visit.


Is there a priority for slow tourism in the Brussels Region?

If yes, than a clearer focus should be put to create a real hub for organising and updating the different touristic walk/bike signage (GR walk routes, Eurodissee bike, fietsknoopppunt routes ).

It makes common sense to adopt a proven system for bike signage; and one would need to investigate:

- is it cost effective/ increase in usability to migrate the whole GFR to a fietsknooppunt system?

- is it cost effective/increase in usability to continue updating the GFR (it is not the case for the moment) and start another system in digital only or in physical form?

What is your opinion?




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