Introducing Pedestrian Scramble Zones

So you’re at an intersection.  If you’re in a car, trying to make a left, you’re annoyed by all of the people crossing the street during your green light so that, by the time the light changes, only the car in front of you has managed to make its way through.  If you’re on foot, you’re rushed by the angry and impatient glares you’re getting from the people waiting to turn right when you get the “go” pedestrian light (that cute little walker) as well as those cars halfway out into the intersection anxiously creeping forward, trying to make a left.


Frustration across the board!  Couldn’t there be a better way?


Hold on to your seats… there is!


Introducing the diagonal crosswalk (aka pedestrian scrambles, or Barnes dances).  These fantastic intersection treatments have started to be implemented in parts of Los Angeles, but are definitely not new technology.  They existed back in the ’50s, but were removed once engineers concluded that they impeded traffic flow.


And yet, what a novel idea!  Give pedestrians their separate time to flow through the intersection, and then traffic it’s own.  No more one impinging on the other.  And it’s safer for pedestrians and cyclists too.


Here’s an article that just came out on  It includes a great StreetsFilms video about them.


What do you think?  Where in Tucson could we benefit from installing these crossing treatments?

2 Responses to Introducing Pedestrian Scramble Zones

  1. Colby says:

    A logical place is 4th Ave-Congress-Toole. Probably some of the UA gateways like Speedway & Park, 6th & Highland too.

  2. Mtngoat says:

    They have had these in the financial district in San Francisco for a long time, and I love them! Sometimes when I go back to visit I just zigzag across the street block by block to get my fix of this awesome crosswalk design. One problem with them in SF is that people still cross with the green light, thereby impeding right turners anyway. Some just don’t understand that they will get a special cycle, others just don’t care.

    This would be great at Mountain and Speedway, where the City doesn’t seem phased by the fact that pedestrians and cyclists both have been hit too often by someone itching to turn left with no dedicated left turn signal to accommodate them. I would also advocate installing a light at Park and University if this was included in the plan.