Comment 28750

By kevlahan (registered) | Posted February 17, 2009 at 12:55:15

I am disappointed to see that the scramble has been removed, but the reason for the removal compounds the problem. The scramble was removed not because it wasn't warranted given the projected pedestrian traffic, nor because it didn't have public support, but because it would slow down (motor vehicle) traffic.

This sort of decision also goes a long way to explain why the City has problems attracting the public to comment on its plans.

Many popular options are either not included, or removed when the final version is chosen. The public is consulted in order to help the City make value decisions on various options: this process is undermined if staff go directly against the trade-offs the public prefers. If the public prefers slower traffic (and the solution is technically feasible), that's what should prevail. Otherwise, why consult the public in the first place?

The fundamental problem with the analysis is that not all 'traffic' is treated equally. Why is my time suddenly more valuable when I step into my car? The convenience, comfort and safety of all road users should be considered (at least) equally. In Vancouver pedestrians officially have top priority, ahead of motorists!

The correct way to decide would be to compare the time lost for motorists compared to the time lost by pedestrians ... I doubt the motorists would have lost more time than the pedestrians with the scramble!

That being said, the top candidate for a scramble intersection should really be James/King. This intersection has more pedestrians crossing in all directions than any other in the City. It is also adjacent to Gore Park, office buildings and the main entrance to Jackson Square.

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