Today saw the launch of Toronto’s first scramble intersection, at the corner of Yonge and Dundas. I think of these as Tokyo-style intersections, where traffic is stopped in all four directions and pedestrians can cross in any direction, including diagonally:
Flanked by the Eaton Centre and Yonge-Dundas Square, the intersection is used by about 100,000 pedestrians a day and is the site of Toronto’s first trial run for the scramble concept, meant to make crossing safer and more efficient for pedestrians and long used elsewhere, including some other cities in Canada.
While striding through the intersection diagonally yesterday, Glenn De Baeremaeker, the city’s works committee chairman, agreed that it felt a bit naughty: “You’re looking for an Elmer the Safety Elephant to be scolding you from the side. … It’s organized chaos.”