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Midtown rainbow crosswalk now using ‘pedestrian scramble’ system

WGCL Atlanta logo WGCL Atlanta 8/30/2022 Crystal Bui
Midtown cross walked changed into 'Pedestrian Criss Cross" © Provided by WGCL Atlanta Midtown cross walked changed into 'Pedestrian Criss Cross"

ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) - Changes have been implemented at one of Atlanta’s most recognizable intersections. The city is now testing diagonal crosswalks at 10th Street NE and Piedmont Avenue NE, with plans on keeping the trial run there until the end of the month.

The pilot program allows the city to study possible safety benefits while supporting walkability.

According to WalkScore.com, Atlanta is only the 43rd most walkable city in the U.S., with at least 200,000 people. The capital city lags well behind cities such as New York, Boston, and San Francisco.

City leaders are hoping to change that by using what’s also known as the ‘pedestrian scramble’ at the rainbow crosswalk in Midtown.

What that means is cars in all directions will stop at the same time. Once all traffic at the intersection sees a red light, then pedestrians on all four corners can walk across the road at the same time. They can walk diagonally if need be.

“I think it is partly safety, but I think it partly improves the flow. I’m a runner, so I think it’s great that I don’t have to break my stride,” said Simon Angove, who’s lived in Midtown for 20 years.

Of nearly a dozen people CBS46 spoke to, all were supportive of the change.

“i know they have one by Krog Street tunnel on the beltline. I think it’s awesome,” said Angove.

Pedestrian advocacy groups referenced Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens, also saying the change couldn’t come enough.

“I think Andre said for the World Cup, people want to be walking around Atlanta and seeing the best about it. So let’s make it better for them to walk around,” said Matt Garbett, with THREAD ATL.

But the city still needs to evaluate whether this ends up creating congestion and a bigger traffic problem for cars in busy Midtown. Some don’t think it will.

“Our big question right now is -- why don’t we have more of them?” said Garbett.

The project was supposed to end on Aug. 29, but it’s been extended for another two weeks.

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