The new pedestrian scramble resembles Japan’s Shibuya crossing and prioritises pedestrian traffic and safety at Bukit Bintang’s busy intersection.
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Has the Total Lockdown got you completely oblivious to what is happening outside the comforts of your home?
Has it given you an extreme longing to travel in general? More specifically to Tokyo, Japan so you can live that chaotic but beautiful experience that is the Shibuya crossing?
The good news is that as of yesterday (19 June), the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) has implemented a pedestrian scramble at a busy intersection of Bukit Bintang giving you the chance to live (or relive) the scramble of the Shibuya crossing – or something like it.
The new crossing is said to optimise walkability by allowing pedestrians to cross the street simultaneously in all directions while optimising the crossing time.
Safer and more convenient
Along with the convenience of saving time and effort to cross the street, the new pedestrian crossing is said to improve road safety as well.
Instead of waiting for multiple light changes, the new system will stop all vehicle traffic from all directions which allow pedestrians to cross straight and diagonally at the same time.
First used in North America but most popular in Japan
The pedestrian scramble is also known as a scramble intersection/corner or diagonal crossing in Canada and the United States respectively and was first used in the late 1940s. However, traffic engineers favoured the flow of car traffic over that of pedestrians.
Its benefits for pedestrian convenience and safety have led to its popularity in many countries like Japan, where there are more than 300 scramble crossings.
Of course, the largest and most famous of scramble crossings is the one found in Tokyo, outside Shibuya station which can accommodate over 3,000 pedestrians in one scramble cross at a time.
But since international travel isn’t permitted now, the next best thing to experience the functional chaos would be to visit the one that is now accessible in the heart of Kuala Lumpur.
Want to check it out once the Total Lockdown is over? It’s located at the intersection of Jalan Sultan Ismail and Jalan Bukit Bintang where the Bukit Bintang MRT and monorail stations are located.
Be smart though and please don’t hold up traffic!
Former advertising mad woman - turned mother to an amazing little girl born 3 months early - and now a returned writer. Also a textbook ambivert with no clue about today's pop music but a walking encyclopedia of music from the 80s and 90s.