During a pedestrian "scramble," traffic signals allow people to cross in every direction, including diagonally.
At bustling city intersections, the nature of walking provides a particular advantage: When everyone moves at a human pace, people on foot can safely cross in every direction at the same time.
That’s the idea behind a pedestrian "scramble,” a traffic signal feature that can make traffic flow more safely and efficiently at certain busy intersections.
Yesterday, we joined community members to celebrate our newest scramble at Clay and Kearny streets, where Chinatown meets the Financial District.
Pedestrian scrambles are an addition to the usual cycle of traffic signal phases – a green light and “walk” signal for one street, a red light for the other. During a “scramble” phase, all traffic lights turn red, and all “walk” signals turn on, even in diagonal directions. That lets people cross the street without having to worry about turning drivers who fail to yield to them.