'Scramble' crosswalk debuts in San Fernando Valley

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You may have seen diagonal crosswalks before, but this is the first time you will see a "scramble" crosswalk in the San Fernando Valley. (KABC)

You may have seen diagonal crosswalks before, but this is the first time you will see a "scramble" crosswalk in the San Fernando Valley.

It has been installed at the intersection of Sylvan Street and Sylmar Avenue in Van Nuys, an area with high vehicle and pedestrian traffic.

"We see every day the number of lawyers and folks visiting the courthouse as well as parents dropping kids off to day care center so we see lot of volume of pedestrians," said Los Angeles City Council member Nury Martinez.

What you won't see at this peculiar intersection is a stop light with a crossing signal letting drivers know that it's the pedestrians' turn to cross. The only indication that a pedestrian might cross diagonally is the paint in the intersection and signs.

Many residents and workers in the area said they would rather have a traffic signal, but the city and department of transportation said the diagonal "scramble" crosswalk is still safer because it reduces the amount of time a pedestrian is on the street having to cross.

"The difference between the time it takes to cross if you were going to cross the perpendicular way is 30 seconds versus 20 seconds to cross diagonally," said Seleta Reynolds of the Los Angeles Department of Transportation. "What that means is pedestrians have less exposure to traffic."

LADOT points to the dramatic increase of pedestrian safety at Hollywood and Highland since it installed a diagonal crosswalk in late 2015.

"Before we put in the scramble at Hollywood and Highland we had an injury or death once a month. Since then, we've had zero injury collisions happen at that intersection," said Reynolds.

Related Topics:
traffictrafficpedestrian struckpedestrian walkwaypedestrianstraffic accidentVan NuysLos AngelesLos Angeles County
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