EDITORIAL – Scramble crosswalks an answer in downtown Kamloops?

An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.

One of the most dangerous places in town is any intersection when you’re a pedestrian trying to get across. You never know when a driver is going to be careless and hang a sharp right through a crosswalk just as you step into it.

It’s no fun for drivers, either, nervously negotiating their way through that crosswalk and wondering if a pedestrian will suddenly hop out.

There’s a better way of handling the driver-pedestrian tango — simply eliminate it.

A system called the pedestrian scramble, or Barnes Dance — after traffic engineer Henry Barnes who advocated for it back in the 1940s — is coming back into favour in Canada.

Under this system, traffic is stopped in all directions at an intersection as pedestrians cross in all directions, including diagonally.

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Mel Rothenburger’s Armchair Mayor editorials appear Mondays through Thursdays on CFJC- TV. His Armchair Mayor column is published Saturdays on and CFJC Today. Contact him at

About Mel Rothenburger (9652 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

5 Comments on EDITORIAL – Scramble crosswalks an answer in downtown Kamloops?

  1. I think it works like a clock but what I really would like to see is you organize our listless council into approving it, by the time you could accomplish that, years would have passed and an even better idea could shock them into making a decision.

  2. Bob Gamble // May 23, 2018 at 12:47 PM // Reply

    Saskatoon where I spent some time has them. Work just fine.

    There are guidelines for their use. Not every corner is a candidate.

    crossings have been introduced in order to reduce pedestrian delays, prevent crowding on sidewalks and to improve pedestrian safety by reducing pedestrian and vehicle conflicts. Although pedestrian scrambles prioritize pedestrians, they do increase delays for all vehicles, including transit.

    Additional delays are also created since right-turns-on red are typically restricted at scramble
    Kingston Ontario Guidelines

  3. Grouchy 1 // May 23, 2018 at 8:06 AM // Reply

    What a ludicrous idea. If anything, this would just make drivers angrier, which would defeat the whole idea. How about just enforcing the laws as they stand, and making the system we use now safer that way ?

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