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The Engineer

The Life and Times of Donald F. Simmons

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Diagonal Crossings

This is interesting. Apparently City Council is going to try setting up four major intersections in the city (Yonge and Bloor, Bay and Bloor, Yonge and Dundas, and Bay and Dundas) as diagonal, or "scramble" crossings.

How it works is when pedestrians are to cross, all traffic is stopped, and you can cross to any corner, diagonally if you like. But when traffic is going, you can't cross at all. The idea is to remove the hazard of turning cars hitting people on a crosswalk. They're pretty popular in Japan, and they do crop up in some US and European cities as well.

I hate having to cross, then cross again to get to my corner, so I'll be interested in giving this a try.

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They used to have them in downtown in London, Ontario, when I was a kid. And I LOVED them.

It should be interesting to see how well they work. I suspect that some people won't have gotten the memo, however, and there will be at least one traffic accident within the first two hours.

Yeah, that's likely going to be the biggest problem.

I can't believe in any case how many people I see just set out and cross against the light, serene in the knowledge that traffic is just going to stop for them.

Some of them are certain that traffic will stop for them; others seem completely unaware that anyone else exists at all.

The one intersection in Sackville that had crosswalk lights while I was growing up (It had lights that actually read WALK and DON"T WALK) worked that way. I thought all intersections were like that until I moved to Toronto. I'm probably lucky I survived my first week here.

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