[Nfbc-info] Scramble Pedestrian Intersections?

George Cassell ApolloSeven at Earthlink.net
Fri Aug 10 22:05:04 UTC 2012

I first encountered one of these scrambled intersections a couple of years 
ago in San Francisco while training with my second Guide Dog from GDB.  At 
first, it was a hoot, watching people crossing the intersection from all 
four corners to any and all of the other corners at that intersection.

While at first I thought this could possibly be dangerous, as soon as I 
realized that traffic in all directions was at a complete stop, with all 
traffic lights showing a steady red to all traffic in all directions, it was 
almost like being at a street fair where the pedestrian was king -- as long 
as the traffic lights remained red.

I don't recall any audible signals for the blind at that time, but I should 
think that should be quite easy -- simply place a different and distinct 
audible device on each of the four corners.  Then one could quickly and 
easily identify which of the four corner audibles was the one where one 
wanted to go, and then they could simply follow that audible signal's sound 
to that particular corner.

There would be no worries about wandering out into moving traffic, as there 
is none at a scrambled intersection while the pedestrians are going there 
many ways.  All vehicular traffic is at a complete stop, and not permitted 
to move in any direction whatsoever.

My recommendation is to standardize these four audible signals according to 
their locations at the intersections.

For example, a chirp could be on northeast corners, a cuckoo could be at the 
southeast corner, a bell at the southwest corner and a dong at the northwest 
corner.  Then blind pedestrians would be able to easily follow the sound to 
their  desired corners.

Unlike audible signals at other types of intersections, it's not a matter of 
the audible telling you that it's safe to cross, but rather where the 
desired corner is located.  Remember, when an scramble intersection is 
active, no cars are allowed within that intersection from anywhere to 
anywhere at all.

I think it's wonderful!

-- George

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