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Dear PoP – diagonal crossing in Chinatown?

by Prince Of Petworth July 28, 2010 at 12:30 pm 60 Comments

“Dear PoP,

Do you know anything about the diagonal crossing in Chinatown? I can see that there are diagonal crosswalks painted onto the road and there’s a sign (photo attached) that seems to urge pedestrians to cross this way. How does this work? This is one of the most chaotic intersections in town, I can’t imagine how this would work and be safe. Any insights? I’m dying to know!”

This is the famous Barnes Dance from 7th and H St, NW that was debuted in May. At the time we discussed it here. DDOT wrote in a press release:

“The District Department of Transportation is launching a new pilot program aimed at providing safer crossings for pedestrians at one of the District’s most traversed intersections: 7th and H streets, NW in Chinatown. The new traffic pattern, commonly called a “Barnes Dance,” allows pedestrians to cross in every direction, including diagonally, at the same time while vehicles on all four sides of the intersection are stopped at a red signal. The change is scheduled to be implemented on Wednesday, May 12 at 10 am.

“We are really excited to launch this pilot, and the intersection we’ve chosen is a great place to test this innovative timing technique,” said DDOT Director Gabe Klein. “Nearly 27,000 pedestrians use this intersection on an average day and about 26,000 vehicles. We believe by utilizing the Barnes Dance we can minimize conflicts and create a safer environment for everyone.”

Statistics show there were 35 total vehicle crashes at that intersection with 9 injuries (4 involving pedestrians) in 2009, and a total of 15 pedestrians injured from 2005-2008.

Rest of the release can be found here.

I finally had the chance to test it out a few weeks ago and I loved it! For those who have used it, do you find it useful?

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