Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Calgary's pedestrian criss-cross great, but with a little wait

It's been just over a year-and-a-half since The City of Calgary introduced the city's first ‘scramble’ or pedestrian ‘criss-cross’ crosswalks.

According to Troy McLeod , The City's manager of traffic, each pedestrian criss-cross has been a big success, but he does admit that not everyone is 100 per cent happy.

“Pedestrians think it’s fantastic that they’re able to cross diagonally . . . but now they may have to wait a little longer until it’s their turn to cross,” said McLeod.

The city’s two scramble crosswalks, which were implemented in May, 2008, are unique because they allow all pedestrians to cross the street at once in any direction. When all four traffic lights are showing red, the WALK signal lights up and pedestrians may cross in any direction. During this time, traffic on all four sides is to remain stopped as right turns are not permitted on red.

The crossings, both located in Barclay Mall in Eau Claire on 2nd and 3rd Avenues and 3rd street, S.W., were chosen because they are pedestrian heavy but not significantly congested with vehicle traffic or along transit routs.

“There has been some impact on traffic but nothing too significant,” said McLeod. “‘Overall, there may be a little longer wait - for pedestrians and motorists - but it is safer.”

No other downtown intersections have been identified for similar criss-cross crosswalks in the near future.

Here is an informational video of the scramble crossing from last year. What are your thoughts? Have you tried walking the pedestrian criss-cross?

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