Toronto Scramble

This mesmerizing time-lapse video of Toronto’s first “scramble” intersection was created by Spacing Toronto and photoblogger Sam Javanrough.

Scrambles are intersections where cars are stopped in all directions and pedestrians are allowed to cross in all directions at once, including diagonally.

Of course, bicycles are vehicles too, so cyclists must stop on the vehicle red light, though bikes can be walked through the intersection on the pedestrian light. It’ll be interesting to see if cyclists adopt some sort of modified dismount/walk/remount behavior—à la cyclocross—to take advantage of their ambiguous status and have it both ways.

7 Responses to “Toronto Scramble”

  • brad says:

    We have a few scrambles here in Montréal as well, including one in Westmount at the intersection of Sherbrooke and Victoria. While it’s true that bikes are supposed to behave like vehicles, most cyclists behave like pedestrians or even jaywalkers, and often ride through red lights. On the bike path I often find I’m the only cyclist who stops at traffic lights; most of the others go right through if there’s no traffic coming; they usually slow down, look both ways, and then continue on through. Police seem to rarely enforce the rules for bikers here, so it’s a bit chaotic.

  • Alan says:

    Part of what confuses the issue in my town is that it’s legal to go through a red light if the way is clear and the cyclist’s presence doesn’t trigger the light (something that happens more than 50% of the time). It’s only a very small step from there to rolling stops.

  • Duncan Watson says:

    Indeed. I hate when my bike doesn’t trigger the darn light. Gets me annoyed so many times.

  • David Hembrow says:

    We have a similar kind of arrangement over here in the Netherlands, but it’s for cyclists, not for pedestrians. Cyclists get to have two greens per cycle of the lights so this allows them to make faster progress than they would if they were in the main traffic stream. I’ve videoed junctions like this a few times. You can see the results here:

    The problem of bikes not being detected by loops which are optimized for cars is avoided here as cyclists have their own loops. It was a constant problem for me back in the UK, but here I’ve yet to find one which doesn’t detect my presence.

  • Bob Baxter says:

    This was done in Denver about 50 years ago. The man responsible was the traffic commissioner, named Barnes, and it was dubbed the “Barnes Dance.”

  • EcoVelo » Blog Archive » StreetFilms: L.A. Scramble says:

    […] excellent film from StreetFilms, and another scramble—similar to the one in Toronto we mentioned last week—but this time in Los […]

  • Phil says:

    Check Out My Time Lapse Of Moss Park. Sunset/Sunrise.

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