Might Vancouver quickly be getting a pedestrian scramble crosswalk?

Probably the most well-known instance of a pedestrian scramble is Tokyo’s Shibuya crossing, the place roughly 2,500 individuals scramble throughout the intersection per crossing.

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Vancouver might quickly be getting a pedestrian scramble, a six-way crosswalk that primarily turns an intersection right into a pedestrian free-for-all at sure occasions.

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A scramble can be a great match for Vancouver and make town extra walkable and pedestrian-friendly, mentioned Coun. Peter Meiszner, who co-authored a movement with Coun. Lenny Zhou asking employees to suggest potential places for the initiative.

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Pedestrian scrambles — often known as diagonal crossing — are intersections the place automobile visitors is stopped in all instructions to permit pedestrians to cross laterally and diagonally.

“They offer pedestrians a higher degree of consolation when it comes to crossing the road,” mentioned Meiszner. “They enhance walkability, they usually’re used all around the world to nice success.”

Probably the most well-known instance is Tokyo’s Shibuya crossing, the place greater than two million pedestrians scramble throughout the intersection every single day, or roughly 2,500 individuals per crossing. There’s additionally a pedestrian scramble at Oxford Circus, one of many busiest areas in London, at Toronto’s Dundas Sq., and in Richmond’s Steveston Village, which opened in 2011.  Edmonton has greater than half a dozen pedestrian scrambles.

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Crowds criss-cross Shibuya Crossing, one of the busiest intersections in the world, in Tokyo.
Crowds criss-cross Shibuya Crossing, one of many busiest intersections on the planet, in Tokyo. Photograph by RICHARD A. BROOKS /AFP by way of Getty Photographs

“It’s not a brand new thought, however it will be new in Vancouver,” mentioned Meiszner, including a pedestrian scramble may also make the roads safer.

“One of many points with the crossings proper now could be you have got individuals crossing on the final second and vehicles are attempting to show,” he mentioned. “This may occasionally assist pedestrians get by the intersections sooner, and assist remove interactions between automobiles and pedestrians.”

In 2013, Vancouver postpone plans to put in a pedestrian scramble on Robson Avenue due partially to considerations that the multi-directional crossings pose a hazard for the visually impaired.

In 2019, it applied an “all-walk” crosswalk at Hornby and Robson Streets. That intersection — which solely has three sides open to vehicular visitors — permits pedestrians to cross the road laterally on the similar time, however doesn’t formally supply a diagonal crossing.

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Pedestrians cross the street on an all-walk crosswalk at Robson and Hornby Streets in 2019.
Pedestrians cross the road on an all-walk crosswalk at Robson and Hornby Streets in 2019. Photograph by Jason Payne /PNG

That “all-walk” crosswalk has seen a 96 per cent discount in pedestrian-vehicle conflicts, says a 2020 metropolis report. Town plans to make the crossing everlasting as a part of the $5.4-million Robson Plaza undertaking, and intends to put in one other comparable crosswalk on the opposite aspect of the plaza at Howe and Robson.

Based on Meiszner and Zhou’s movement, there’s sturdy public curiosity in a pedestrian scramble in Vancouver. The movement directs employees to suggest potential websites for a scramble and to evaluate the effectiveness of such an initiative in Vancouver.

Meiszner says he’s open to the place the scramble may very well be put in, although thinks it’ll be higher suited to a busy downtown intersection.

Areas floated by the general public on social media embrace Broadway and Cambie, 1st Avenue and Industrial Drive, Granville and Robson, and Granville and Georgia.



Toronto’s pedestrian scramble at Yonge Street at Dundas Street.
Toronto’s pedestrian scramble at Yonge Avenue at Dundas Avenue. Photograph by Peter J. Thompson /PROVINCE
Edmonton’s pedestrian scramble on Jasper Avenue and 104 Street.
Edmonton’s pedestrian scramble on Jasper Avenue and 104 Avenue. Photograph by Ed Kaiser Ed Kaiser /Ed Kaiser/Postmedia

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