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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments

Walk this way, or that way

If you're going to do something pedestrian-friendly, it won't do to have drivers unclear on the concept:

Irene Stroh, 24, 1520 W. Ashland Ave., was walking across Riverside after the Scramble Light changed when she was hit by a 2002 Ford F-150 pickup driven by Brian A. Johnson, 37, Selma.

Remember the scramble light at Calhoun and Wayne? I was in high school then, and I thought it was the coolest thing ever invented. Walking through the intersection and seeing cars having to wait in all four directions, it felt like I was getting away with something I shouldn't have been able to do.

UPDATE: An alert commenter (who just had to throw in a gratuitous remark about the time when dinosaurs oamed the Earth) remembered a Mitch Harper post about the scramble light (with pics) at Fort Wayne Observed in 2006.


Wed, 08/27/2008 - 11:38am

And for those of us who weren't around when dinosaurs roamed the streets of town, Mitch Harper of FWO has some pictures and a description of the "scramble light."

Harl Delos
Wed, 08/27/2008 - 3:05pm

A "scramble light" sounds like something cop cars mount on the roof. That news story seems to be describing a "Barnes Dance" intersection.

And if it's not clear to people reading news stories, you're sure to have drivers unclear on the concept.

I haven't driven though many intersections with signals like that, but NOT ONE of the intersections had any sort of signage warning drivers that the signals do something strange, and you shouldn't assume that they are broken. Putting up "Warning: Barnes Dance" signs, 4 of them, would be cheaper by a factor of 100:1 than dispatching cops (and occasionally ambulances) for a series of accidents.

And it'd result in lower auto insurance rates, as well.

Having large signs with street names on them would be smart as well. Drive through a strange city, and if you're likely to end up in the wrong lane when you get to the street you want, because you can't tell you're coming up to the intersection until it's too late.