Pedestrians in many world cities are crossing the road back, forth and even diagonally thanks to a new type of crosswalk known as a criss-cross.  Even Calgary opened up a criss-cross downtown.

This special type of crosswalk stops vehicles in all four directions while pedestrians cross the street in any direction they choose.  Vehicles at an intersection with criss-crosses must wait until the light turns green before making a right turn.

Research done by the Schulich School of Engineering and the City of Calgary showed a significant decline in the number of pedestrian-vehicle conflicts, which are “near miss” situations that have the potential to result in crashes in regular crosswalks. While that reduction is an important safety benefit, there were also more pedestrians stepping off the curb when the “don’t walk” signal was flashing.

Calgary’s transportation people said that criss-crosses are considered safer and more efficient than traditional crosswalks.  With this type of crosswalk being used in major cities such as San Francisco, Los Angeles, Tokyo, London and even Toronto, it seems like it is working quite well.

Does Edmonton want to be a worldly, advanced city?  It seems that the leaders want a lot of events and people to visit our town. 

Where would the criss-cross go?  I am not sure.

Do we depend too much on our cars?  I am not sure. 

Would the addition of a criss-cross in Edmonton show the world that we are making an effort to clean up the air, make the downtown core a more pedestrian friendly place and encourage people to visit?  I’d like to think so.    




Resource: CBC, Schulich
Here is a video from the Toronto Sun showing the criss-cross in action: