Following the post yesterday, Morse-Cottage pedestrian scramble, here is my first suggestion for a pedestrian scramble in Sacramento. J Street and 13th Street would be a great location for one. It has high pedestrian traffic, it has pedestrian attractors on three corners (convention center, Sheraton Grand Hotel, and a parking garage), and many people cross more than one direction. I am not sure that it is the highest volume intersection, but it is quite possible the highest visitor location where people are less likely to be paying attention or to understand our signal system
Most importantly, the pedestrian signalization here is seriously screwed up, and it needs to be changed. On the west leg, the pedestrian phase is short. On the east leg,there is a ‘leading vehicle interval’ that allows southbound left turning vehicles to start before the pedestrian walk comes on, so almost every cycle creates pedestrian-vehicle conflicts. All the crossings require button pushes, none are on automatic recall that is standard at intersections in urban areas with heavy pedestrian flow. And the whole intersection cycle is much too long, giving preference to drivers on J Street over walkers, right here in the heart of a place where so many people walk. The cycle also sometimes skips the west leg completely, making pedestrians wait through two cycles of J Street traffic, which is a long, long time.
In addition to the exclusive phase, diagonal crosswalks should be marked to make it clear how the intersection works.
Let’s make this the first of many pedestrian scrambles in the central city.