September 21, 2018
The City of Edmonton is reintroducing pedestrian scrambles at two major intersections in a year-long pilot project.
Two pedestrian scrambles—also known as scramble intersections, exclusive pedestrian intervals, or Barnes Dances—are being installed at Jasper Avenue and 104 Street for September 21, and at 82 Avenue and 105 Street on October 5. Pedestrians can cross the intersection in every direction, including diagonally, at the same time while all vehicles are stopped temporarily.
When north-south and east-west automobile drivers have the right of way, pedestrians moving in those directions will be stopped.
To ensure no vehicles cross paths with pedestrians, vehicles are not permitted to make right turns when the traffic signal is red.
“Safety for everyone is the priority for this pilot,” said Olga Messinis, Director of Network Operations for the City of Edmonton. “The goal of the pilot project is to see if this intersection design decreases or eliminates collisions between pedestrians and vehicles, a major goal for the City’s Vision Zero strategy.”
The intersections were selected because of their high pedestrian volumes, high rates of turning vehicles and a history of pedestrian-vehicle collisions. In the last five years, there have been two vehicle-pedestrian collisions at Jasper Avenue and 104 Avenue and five collisions at 82 Avenue and 105 Street.
Travel times for vehicles, transit, and pedestrians will be affected, but the changes are expected to improve pedestrian safety and convenience.
Other cities have piloted or are using the pedestrian scramble design. Calgary has two pedestrian scrambles in the Eau Claire neighbourhood and St. Albert has a test pedestrian scramble in its downtown area. Pedestrian scrambles are being used in cities in the United States including New York City and Pittsburgh as well as in cities throughout Australia and Japan.
In 1959, the last two major pedestrian scramble intersections were removed at 101A Avenue and 101 Street, and at 102 Avenue and 101 Street, to accommodate growing demand for vehicles. Pedestrian scrambles received renewed focus along with other pedestrian pilot projects when the City of Edmonton adopted a
Road Safety Strategy
, in effect from 2016 to 2020.
People are encouraged to share their experiences with pedestrians scrambles by filling out a feedback form online at