Exclusive Pedestrian Interval to be tested at Nassau/Washington/Vandeventer intersection June 10-21, 2019-All vehicle stop for ped crossing

What is an Exclusive Pedestrian Phase?

An Exclusive Pedestrian Phase (also known as a “Barnes dance”, a “pedestrian scramble”, and an “all-pedestrian cross”) at a signalized intersection operates differently than a standard traffic signal-controlled intersection and allows pedestrians to cross all ways, including diagonally, while vehicles on all sides of the intersection are stopped at a red signal.

Princeton residents are reminded that the traffic signal at Nassau Street / Bayard Lane / Stockton Street (NJ 27 / US 206) operates with this exclusive pedestrian phase (EPP).  This traffic signal operation functions differently than a standard signal operation because it allows all pedestrians to cross in any direction they want during a signal phase while all vehicle traffic is stopped.  It also allows vehicles to cross in separate signal phases while all pedestrians are stopped. 

The signal operation was named (but not invented by) after the traffic engineer, Henry Barnes, who first popularized the technique in the 1950s. 

What to expect as a pedestrian?

  • The pedestrian walk signal will only be activated by pushing the button on the traffic signal pole.
  • Cross only when Pedestrian Signal indicates the Walk Signal. The EPP stops the vehicle traffic from all directions with a red signal. The “all-red, all-walk” phase allows pedestrians to cross all four main crosswalks as well as diagonally across the intersection.
  • Pedestrians will also notice that when vehicles have a green signal to move through the intersection, pedestrians will have Don’t Walk signals across all streets.  This allows vehicles to proceed through the intersection or turn without any conflicts or hazards. 

What to expect as a driver?

  • Obey the Traffic Signal - NO Right Turns on Red Signals - at all times! Drivers who attempt a right turn on red will create a safety hazard for pedestrians, especially during the EPP phase.
  • This intersection is a very high pedestrian traffic area, please drive at or below the speed limit.
  • Wait times at the intersection may be longer and vehicles may experience more delay during peak travel times because of the new“all-red, all-walk” pedestrian crossing traffic signal phase. 

What to expect as a cyclist?

  • Cyclists may proceed on a Walk signal by dismounting and walking as a pedestrian. 
  • Cyclists may ride through the intersection on the green signal for vehicles.                                                                                                              

Advantages and Disadvantages:

  • An EPP provides significant convenience and safety for pedestrians. In particular,the all-red phase gives pedestrians a very high feeling of safety.  Removing all turns also eliminates the turning vehicle/pedestrian conflict. 
  • The main disadvantage is that it reduces the time available for vehicles to pass through the intersection. This is because the signal cycle must be split into five phases, four for drivers and one for pedestrians.
  • The main disadvantage for pedestrians is that pedestrians will have to wait longer for the walk signal. 

(Data courtesy of Barnes Dance Intersections )

NJ DOT Press Release

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