Ready, set, do the Carlsbad Scramble
August 01, 2012
Here's a multiple-choice question. To find the new Carlsbad Scramble you must:
a. Go to your local restaurant and look for it on the breakfast menu.
b. Go to the nearest toy store and search in the board game aisle.
c. Go to the nearest nightclub and check out the dance floor.
d. Go to Carlsbad Boulevard and Carlsbad Village Drive and push the “walk” button on the traffic signal.
In August the City of Carlsbad Transportation Department reset the cycle on the traffic signal at Carlsbad Boulevard and Carlsbad Village Drive so that pedestrians may cross in any direction, even diagonally, when the “walk” sign makes its appearance.
“If you're walking and you want to cross diagonally from one corner to another, you can,” City of Carlsbad Deputy Transportation Director Bryan Jones said.
The idea, Jones said, is to give pedestrians a way to safely cross the intersection and make it to whatever corner they want to, rather than wait for two cycles of lights to get to the diagonal corner.
“We have thousands of pedestrians walking through that intersection every day, and this will make it a better experience for them, and for motorists too,” Jones said. “We'll be able to serve people more efficiently.”
Jones said that as many as 6,000 pedestrians traverse the intersection on a Saturday, and sometimes they would wait in throngs to get across.
“We saw how painful it was for pedestrians to negotiate that intersection,” Jones said. “It must have taken what seemed like four to five minutes.”
That many pedestrians also had an impact on vehicle traffic.
“It was hard for motorists to turn right on a green light, because a driver would have to wait for a group of people crossing in one direction, then wait for another group crossing from the other side,” Jones said. The result was that drivers wanting to make a right turn often had to wait for a red light to make that move.
With the new Carlsbad Scramble, vehicles will move through the intersection in cycles without any interference from pedestrians, and when it’s their turn pedestrians will be able to safely scramble across in any direction while motorists wait and spectate. Motorists will not be able to turn right on red but now will be able to turn right on a green much more easily. The Carlsbad Scramble removes the conflicts between pedestrians and motorists at the busiest intersection in the Village.
Bicyclists will have to obey vehicle rules if they're mounted and riding their bikes, but they can follow pedestrian rules if they walk their bikes.
Many cities around the world have “scramble crosswalks,” including the City of San Diego, which has one at Fifth Avenue and Market Street in the Gaslamp Quarter.
“I believe this is the first one of its kind in North County,” Jones said. “This is just another great example of making our streets and intersections more livable
and improving the walkability of the Carlsbad Village.
“Come down to the Carlsbad Village and check out the new Carlsbad Scramble and the many great businesses,” Jones said.
For more information
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