Last week, Nashville set up its first ever pedestrian scramble on Lower Broadway. Also known as a Barn Dance, the diagonal sidewalks are installed between Fifth Avenue and Second Avenue on Broadway to help decrease the alarmingly high number of pedestrian accidents. This allows pedestrians to cross either diagonally or straight, essentially knocking out two crossings at once.
Essentially, traffic in all directions will receive red lights at the same time. Then, the pedestrians will be given the go-ahead with walk signals and will be allowed to cross in every direction without fear of getting slammed into by a vehicle. Cyclists will also reap the safety rewards. However, they will have to dismount and walk their bicycles across the street as they are legally considered vehicles while on the bike.
The New Pedestrian Scramble is Part of a Pedestrian Improvement Pilot Program
Approximately 15,000 vehicles drive through Lower Broadway daily and roughly 16,000 pass through on foot. Needless to say, this area is ranked as one of the country’s busiest intersections. Given the rest of Nashville will need some time to get used to the new pedestrian scramble, Metro Public Works are working with the Metro Police to monitor the new situation.
This modification to Lower Broadway is part of a Metro Public Works’ Pedestrian Improvement Program, a pilot program designed to maximize safety and convenience downtown. According to a representative from Public Works, the new pedestrian scramble minimizes potential conflict between cars, pedestrians and cyclists.
Will the Lower Broadway Pedestrian Scramble Decrease the Amount of Pedestrian Accidents?
While the number of car crashes decreased last year, the number of pedestrian accidents were extremely high. Hopefully, setting up pedestrian scrambles in this high-traffic area of Lower Broadway will help decrease these numbers. Metro Public Works is currently accepting feedback and suggestions moving forward with its Pedestrian Improvement Program.
“Trust in the LORD and do good; Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness.” Psalm 37:3