Early this afternoon I, together with my fellow Secretary General for the Committee of the Regions, Gerhard Stahl, hosted a visit from Pascal Smet, Minister in the Government of the Bruxelles Capitale Region for mobility, public transport, taxis and assistance to people. The visit, which was arranged by the Bulletin magazine, concerned the subject of safety of pedestrians seeking to cross the rue Belliard. Since the two Committees have staff working in six buildings situated on both sides of the rue Belliard, this was also about the safety of our staff. But it was also about the safety of the many visitors who visit the EU institutions. We pointed out the various problems to him: poorly synchronised or simply unsynchronised traffic lights; lack of barriers to prevent people from crossing at dangerous places; lack of protection for pedestrians on the (narrow) pavements; and so on. To his great credit , the minister was very receptive and made immediate, on-the-spot commitments. But he also informed us about a competition under way to completely re-do the whole of the rue Belliard (as has been done with the rue de la Loi) and, indeed, the whole of the European quarter. Like me, Smet is an avid cyclist, so I got in a bit of special bidding for a proper piste cyclable as well. All-in-all it was an encouraging and very productive half an hour.