Friday, May 03, 2013

Crossing the road Pt 2

Last Friday we looked at Oxford Circus and how de-cluttering of the busy intersection improved the intersection immensely for pedestrians, and to a lesser degree cars and buses.

Some discussion in comments about diagonal intersections arose, which I found very interesting. Apparently in Australia, one such intersection at the corner of Flinders and Elizabeth Streets in Melbourne, is know as 'The Barn Dance'.

The Shibuya district in Tokyo is a very fashionable area to be seen in on a Saturday afternoon. It has shops, lots of shops, very smart shops. Neon flashes in all all directions at the Hachiko exit of the Shibuya Station as it pours people out onto the intersection. All your preconceived notions of stylish Japan come true in this area of Japan. It is very trendy but unfortunately, with our limited time in Tokyo, we never got to see it. I would have so like to see all the Japanese kiddies in high and extreme fashion.

You know, I never felt like Tokyo was crowded or overly busy. Yes, there were a lot of people, but I have felt more crowded in Swanston Street Melbourne than I ever did in Tokyo, even when we caught a train on a busy train line in evening peak. No one pushed us into the train. There was space inside. People seemed to know how to move among many.

In Australia, have you ever been walking in a not so busy street as someone walks towards you? You go one way and they go the same way. You both change and again you are on a path to collide. In Shibuya, hundreds seem to be able to cross and not get in each others way.

Not too soon after Anzac Day to mention Japan, isn't it?


6 comments:

  1. I think it's like when you look at ants. They're so small, have so much space and yet they collide all the time. Humans are the same.

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    1. Although James, sometimes I think the busier it is, the better people calculate their path.

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  2. I agree totally Andrew, I was going to say when there are so very very many people trying to get from A to B there has got to be some sort of organizational skills going on or there would be a lot of rickashading going on, now that would have been fun to see..to soon :)

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    1. Grace, perhaps something you don't experience a lot of in Perth.

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  3. Ahh it's actually Barnes Dance, named after Henry Barnes, a traffic engineer. (An alternate name is Scramble crossing).

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pedestrian_scramble

    There's at least one other in Melbourne, in Footscray.

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    1. Daniel, I received a private email from someone who I don't know explaining it to me. Interesting, isn't it. I think I know where the Footscray one is, also near the station.

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