In a move that symbolizes Edmonton's metropolitan revolution as well as any skyscraper, the City has decided to test-run the return of the pedestrian scramble crossing. Last seen in 1959, during the rise of the automobile, scramble crossings were once a common sight across the downtown, allowing pedestrians to cross major intersections in every direction - a necessity when the number of people walking outnumbers those driving.
A sign of urban vibrancy as a direct result of density and the existence of walkable neighbourhoods, the return of scramble crossings to two major intersections - Jasper Ave and 104 St NW and 82 Ave and 105 St NW - serves to highlight the progress the city has made over the course of the most recent building boom. Viewed in the diagrams above and below, each of the two new test scramble crossings will allow pedestrians to cross in all directions, with traffic lights re-timed to accommodate the change.
Already well-established in major cities around the globe, pedestrian scrambles are associated with healthy, dense cities, and of a mindset that places people ahead of cars. Part of Edmonton's "Vision Zero" Road Safety Strategy, the changes will be studied as a 12-month test exercise.
Ready to scramble? Let us know what you think of the pilot project in the comments section below!