Richmond city staff delivered a report on Wednesday to the public works and transportation committee recommending the city’s pilot pedestrian scramble intersection in Steveston become permanent.
This comes as the City of Vancouver put off plans to install a scramble downtown after learning the multidirectional crossings are dangerous and confusing for the visually impaired, who rely on traffic sounds for signals.
But city staff made adjustments for visually impaired people, said spokesperson Ted Townsend. “We consulted Rob (Sleath, chairperson of the Richmond-based Access for Sight Impaired Consumers) and the community.”
But Sleath called the result “less than satisfying.”
“When you take away all those vehicular traffic sounds and all we have to follow is the sounds of other pedestrians who are crossing ... it makes it very challenging,” he said.
The intersection has auditory signals for standard north-south and east-west pedestrian crossing, but the activation buttons are easily confused with a third button that triggers the scramble phase, Sleath said.
Townsend said he discussed the matter with the transport engineers and they will follow up with Sleath to further improve the scramble.
Staff may also make it easier on motorists by allowing them to turn right on a red light. Although that restriction will probably stay in place during the scramble phase.
Scrambles in busy intersections are meant to encourage foot traffic.
Read more: www.vancouversun.com
— file by Yvonne Robertson