Tourists try Banff's new scramble crosswalks

Tourists got a chance this long weekend to try scramble crosswalks, which let pedestrians cross in any direction while all vehicles are stopped at a red light.

Town council will review the trial project at the end of the summer

Banff has opened scramble intersections to help improve the flow of people and vehicles. (Carla Beynon/CBC)

Tourists got a chance this long weekend to try scramble crosswalks, which let pedestrians cross in any direction while all vehicles are stopped at a red light.

The new crossings are at three busy Banff Avenue intersections: Wolf Street, Caribou Street and Buffalo Street.  Every third light, all vehicles are stopped, allowing pedestrians to cross in any direction, including diagonally.

During the summer, 2,000 pedestrians and 300 vehicles go through Banff's three busiest intersections every hour.

"People really quite like the aspect of being able to cross in every direction," said Kelly Davis, a crosswalk monitor, on Monday. "People seem to grasp why it's there and what it's trying to do, with helping the flow of pedestrians and traffic through town."

Mayor Grant Canning said the crosswalks should help alleviate traffic congestion. 

"This is one component of a much larger picture to try and address that issue," he said.

"We have seen some issues with the traffic lights, but we are working on those. In fact, we've already tweaked them to where we wantm so the traffic can flow more smoothly. As the data comes in from this first weekend trial, we'll make more changes as we go along."

Town council will review the intersections by September to decide whether the scramble crosswalks become permanent.

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