Yes. The “Scramble Crossing,” located at Oxford Circus and opened in November 2009, is a new way to manage traffic at one of the busiest pedestrian crossings in the world. For 30 seconds all car traffic at the intersection comes to a complete halt and pedestrians may cross in any direction, diagonally or wherever they need to go. It’s efficient because cars do not waste energy trying to turn through a crowded thicket of pedestrians, which at peak times may not clear sufficiently at all to allow cars to get through. Pedestrians like it too because they don’t have to dodge cars turning right as they walk through the intersection, nor do they have to cross two streets in succession to get to the diagonal corner of the intersection. Scrambles are being used in Japan, New Zealand and Toronto. It’s important to note, however, that scrambles are only worth it in very specific conditions, where there’s a tremendous density of pedestrian and car traffic trying to cross the same street. If the densities aren’t high enough it becomes inefficient as cars waste energy idling for 30 seconds while a stream of pedestrians crosses that could easily accommodate turning vehicles.
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