Richmond was the first city in Metro Vancouver to introduce a scramble crossing, they did so in Steveston Village. Now the City of Vancouver plans to “test” (lets face it a test to Vision Vancouver pretty much means permanent) a pedestrian scramble crossing somewhere on Robson Street. There were rumours around the time of the Olympics of having this in place once the Canada line was complete, however, the plans were apparently delayed.
What is a Scramble Crossing?
A pedestrian scramble, also known as a ‘X’ Crossing (UK), diagonal crossing (US), scramble intersection (Canada), and, more poetically, a Barnes Dance, is a pedestrian crossing system that stops all vehicular traffic and allows pedestrians to cross an intersection in every direction, including diagonally, at the same time. – Wikipedia
The most famous pedestrian scramble is Shibuya, one of the wards in Tokyo, where apparently close to a million people a day cross:
Possible Streets for Vancouver’s Scramble Crossings
Here is a list of our top 3 candidates and why we think they may be one day chosen as scramble crossings. One of them is not on Robson Street but was used as it is becoming a busy pedestrian hub.
1. Robson and Burrard Scramble Crossing:
- Probably the most famous intersection in the city, it’s also a busy pedestrian crossing.
- Although these days Robson Street is less busy (Lease signs are everywhere these days) it’s only a matter of time before that the street reclaims its glory.
- When Victoria’s Secret opens up at the Old HMV spot (99% possibility) and the Forever 21 and Apple Flagship locations open up as well on Robson, the street will become busier.
2. Robson and Granville Scramble Crossing:
- This would be the easiest to implement as the flow of car traffic north/south isn’t allowed, just transit and the odd unaware motorist.
- It’s already quite busy.
- Once the new building on Robson and Granville is up and Nordstrom takes over Sears building (rumoured for now) it will become even busier.
3. Granville and Georgia Scamble Crossing.
- It’s the entrance to the Granville Pedestrian mall on the weekends
- Close to two busy rapid transit stations
- The Bay has once again become a shopping destination
- Georgia street is widely used during concerts and Canucks games
Whatever intersection is chosen, it will be confusing to motorists and pedestrians alike.
Both Toronto and Calgary have implemented scramble crossings already.
More on this as it develops.
Photo: Liam Hanham