Pedestrian scramble idea for Charlottetown intersection dropped

Charlottetown's public works committee has decided to scrap the idea of a pedestrian scramble at the intersection of Queen and Grafton streets.

The city was exploring the idea of implementing a pedestrian scramble, where traffic is temporarily stopped to allow pedestrians to cross in any direction — even diagonally. 

Pedestrian scrambles are used in other Canadian cities including Toronto and Edmonton.

The idea was put forward in August as a possible way to help pedestrians get around the area quickly and safely, with the busy summer months in mind.

"We weren't convinced it would make a significant impact to really justify upgrading this intersection," said Scott Adams, manager of public works for Charlottetown.

'Didn't seem to make a lot of sense'

The idea was studied by public works and consultants who concluded that implementing a pedestrian scramble would likely increase vehicle delays, Adams said. 

"Because when the scramble is on, all directions of vehicles are stopped," he said, adding that would mean cars wouldn't be able to turn right at a red light.

Patrick Dell/Canadian Press

"It didn't seem to make a lot of sense to make these upgrades to this intersection, where it would have a minor increase or improvement in travelling for pedestrians for a very short period of time during the year," Adams said. 

However, Adams said this isn't the first time the idea of a pedestrian scramble at the intersection has been put forward and later dropped. And he suspects it might not be the last. 

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