Tuesday, May 1, 2012


Named after the Denver traffic engineer who invented it in the 1950s, the Barnes Dance, Pedestrian Scramble, or Diagonal Crossing, is a great way to make an intersection pedestrian friendly. The SFMTA has done one at Folsom and Fourth, and it has made that intersection much safer. The good news is that it can be done with the existing traffic lights, which all turn red for vehicles going any direction during a crossing phase. This allows pedestrians to cross in any direction, including diagonally, with no danger from turning motorists.

There are two intersections on Second where this might make sense: at Bryant and at Harrison. Both these intersections have a lot of turning, are very unpleasant to walk across, and have high pedestrian accident rates including a fatality at Harrison.

This video from Streetfilms.org has a great description of Barnes Dances.


The Pasadena Barnes Dance, or "All Cross" as they call it, with peds.

The Pasadena Barnes Dance before the pedestrians cross every which way.

1 comment:

  1. I think that a Barnes Dance is a perfect solution for 2nd Street, especially the intersections at Bryant and Harrison. Right now, those two intersections make me feel unsafe and vulnerable, but if pedestrians could all walk at once with no cars, it would make the intersection almost communal. That would be a nice experience, plus prevent accidents for both pedestrians and motorists. Great idea!