An Ex-Pedestrian Scramble: Jackson/State Markings Are Nearly Gone

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Looking southwest from the northeast corner. Photo: John Greenfield

Yesterday I looked at crosswalks that were installed in November at the Logan Square traffic circle and are already vanishing. This afternoon I dropped by the city’s only pedestrian scramble intersection, downtown at State and Jackson, where X-shaped crosswalks were striped last May and are now almost completely gone.

While the Logan crosswalks were marked with thermoplastic on too-cold pavement, so that the molten plastic didn’t properly bond with the asphalt and was quickly scraped away by snowplows, the scramble was striped with regular paint, which fades quickly under the best of circumstances. The scramble, which also includes signs and recorded announcements alerting pedestrians that diagonal crossings are permitted, was unveiled by the city with great fanfare last spring.

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Looking northeast from the southwest corner on opening day. Photo: John Greenfield

Now that the diagonally crosswalks are virtually gone, it appears that very few people are taking advantage of the opportunity to cross diagonally during the pedestrian-only phase. However, the conventional crosswalks were marked with thermoplastic and are still quite visible, so people are still crossing both east-west and north-south at the same time during the scramble phase.

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Looking northwest from the southeast corner. Photo: John Greenfield

Hopefully the city will re-stripe the diagonal crosswalks as soon as it’s warm enough to do so, so that the junction will function as a true pedestrian scramble intersection once again.