Pedestiran Scramble in Toronto
Exciting news for all you pedestrian enthusiasts out there! A Pedestrian Scramble Intersection has been approved in Stevston for the busy intersection of Moncton and Number 1 Road.
What is a Pedestrian Scramble you might ask? Well, a Pedestrian Scramble (also known as a “Barnes Dance”) is a type of intersection treatment whereby an additional signal phase is added such that all vehicular traffic stops and pedestrians are free to move about the intersection however their hearts desire, including diagonally.
Pedestrian Scrambles are found in busy intersections all over the world. Perhaps one of the more famous examples is that of Shibuya Crossing in Tokyo where an almost unimaginable stream of humanity is unleashed every few minutes. From a Canadian perspective, Toronto’s busy Yonge and Dundas was converted to a Pedestrain Scramble a couple of years ago. Vancouverites traveling down to Seattle may be familiar with some of the scrambles there, such as the one at Pike and First Avenue.
It may surprise you to know that the Branes Dance is not new to the Lower Mainland. In fact, Vancouver was one of the first cities in the world to use the innovative infrastructure, and the intersections of Granville and Georgia as well as Granville and Hastings used to have a scramble phase back in the 1950s
Hastings and Granville 1952
The City’s Transportation Plan indicates that pedestrians are supposed to be at the top of the transportation hierarchy. One of the interesting things about scrambles (aside from their utility and safety functions in busy intersections) is that they send a message that pedestrians are in fact a mode of transportation that has a significant value, as opposed to simply allowing them to cross when it doesn’t pose an inconvenience to vehicular traffic.
Vancouver has previously considered bringing Pedestrian Scrambles back into the downtown, and it seems to us to be a proposal which merits further investigation.
What do you think?