Pedestrian Scramble Launch - News Graphic

Pedestrian Scramble Goes Live In Downtown August 18

Released August 13, 2021 01:41 PM
Alpharetta will take the final steps towards implementing its new “pedestrian scramble” crosswalk next week in Downtown Alpharetta.  Crews are scheduled to paint the crosswalk markers in the intersection of Milton Avenue and Roswell/Canton Street overnight on Tuesday, August 17, weather permitting.  The intersection will be closed to all traffic from 9:00 PM until 4:00 AM the following day while the work is being performed.

In the event of rain, the work will be rescheduled for the following evening or the evening of August 24, depending upon weather forecasts.

A pedestrian scramble, or “Barnes Dance,” is an exclusive pedestrian traffic signal interval that stops all vehicular movement to allow pedestrians access to cross in any direction at the intersection, including diagonally.  While the new crosswalk configuration will be a first for Alpharetta, several pedestrian scrambles can be found around Metro Atlanta.  Since 2015 pedestrian scramble intersection have been unveiled at intersections in Atlanta, Chamblee, and Dunwoody.

Alpharetta’s pedestrian scramble will work a bit differently from the standard pattern in which all vehicular traffic stops every time a pedestrian wants to cross the street.  Instead, pedestrians will have the option of pressing a button to activate a pedestrian signal to cross a single street or pressing a different button to stop all traffic and cross the intersection diagonally.

“After watching the pedestrian patterns at the intersection of Milton Avenue and Roswell/Canton Street, one of the take-aways was that about half of the pedestrians were crossing only a single street and half were crossing two streets to get to their destinations,” said Pete Sewczwicz, Alpharetta’s Director of Public Works.  “The two-button option we have implemented for our pedestrian scramble enables us to avoid stopping all vehicular movement when pedestrians only need to cross a single street in the traditional way.”

The pedestrian crossing markings painted on the street will be in two colors, with yellow diagonal marks to match the yellow button a pedestrian would push to activate the scramble.  The perpendicular markings crossing single streets will be painted white and will correspond with white buttons pedestrians will use to activate the more traditional pedestrian crossing signals.

Signs illustrating the options for crossing the street and which button to push to trigger each option are being placed at each corner to instruct pedestrians on how to use the crosswalks.

“If pedestrians will follow the instructions and press the yellow button only if they need to cross the intersection diagonally, we will be able to have a good balance between traffic flow and pedestrian safety and convenience,” said Sewczwicz.  “As is the case with many things, success will depend upon the behavior of the public.”

Using Pedestrian Scramble