The Scramble



Do you ever feel as though you’re standing in the middle of an intersection?

Earlier this year, Toronto created its first “scramble” intersection.  The foot traffic at the corner of Yonge and Dundas was so heavy that a “pedestrian-only” signal was established that stops traffic in all directions – and allows pedestrians to cross in any direction.

However, I’ve noticed something rather odd about this intersection.

Despite what is depicted in the photograph above, even when pedestrians are allowed to wander freely throughout the entire intersection, or walk diagonally, or choose any other random path, many people rarely venture beyond the standard gridlines.  Sometimes I have noticed people doing so while glancing around nervously, as though they are engaging in some kind of forbidden act.

After all, intersections can be dangerous things. 

The crowd could sweep you away from your intended destination.  Or a  fast-moving vehicle could knock you off your feet.

It’s tempting to stay inside the lines.

It’s more fun to be part of the scramble.


8 Responses to “The Scramble”

  1. September 23, 2009 at 1:11 pm

    I used to adhere quite strictly to walk/don’t walk signs.

    Now? I just know to look both ways, and if the path is clear, I’m go for it.

  2. September 23, 2009 at 1:57 pm

    That’s why I drive a pickup truck. Full frame so less likely to do damage when I plough through, and high enough that I probably won’t get blood and brains on my windshield, obstructing my view.

  3. 5 Marie
    September 23, 2009 at 2:45 pm

    You’re right. Every once in a while, I love stepping out and being a part of that scramble. Life would be too dull otherwise.

  4. September 23, 2009 at 3:11 pm

    If I was starting a company, I’d probably watch that intersection for a day and grab everyone who walked outside the lines and make them come work for me.

  5. September 23, 2009 at 7:33 pm

    We are fearful little lemmings, I guess. I agree with you. Scramble sounds like more fun.

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