Who invented the diagonal intersection cross in SF Financial District?

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The Chronicle magazine on 6/23/02 had a short piece about the mysterious sight of pedestrians crossing the Montgomery Street diagonally. But this system was invented by an actual person in the not too distant past (somewhere between mid fifties and mid 70's I would guess). I read about it and can't remember where. Who was it?

-- Claire Tompkins (claire.tompkins@morganstanley.com), June 26, 2002


Look up Barne's Dance on the Internet. I first saw the system in Denver in 1952 at which time it was being installed. It took maybe 10 or so years to get to San Francisco. The inventor was a Mr. Barne, and the imaginative name Barne's Dance was given to it. I found only one reference on the Internet, that is, the system's use in New York, but no date is given as to its first use. The rest is my memory from a 6-month business assignment in Denver and a then-resident of San Francisco. After fifty years things are hazy but it seemed like Denver was the first use.

-- Charles Grant (clgrant@ix.netcom.com), July 04, 2002.

Claire, if you have access to the archives of the Chronicle, you'll find write-ups of when it was re-introduced at that intersection sometime in the mid-70s. If I am recalling the articles correctly, it was "something San Francisco hadn't seen since the 1930s."

I gotta say it beats the heck out of waiting for two walk lights. Wish more cities used it!

-- Rosa (rosadebon@yahoo.com), July 05, 2002.

I remember that when first introduced in the City it was referred to as the "scramble system."

-- John Martini (jamartini@slip.net), July 05, 2002.

See: http://www.wikipedia.com/wiki/Henry+Barnes I remember that when Barnes came to New York, he brought the "Barnes' Dance" with him.

-- Brendan Holly (writeon1@mchsi.com), July 11, 2002.

The Barnes' Dance was also used as a solution for pedestrian flow in Nashville, Tennessee in the early sixties. I am not sure how many intersections were involved, but I do recall that it was a workable plan at the time. A traffic engineer here in NY State has recently mentioned to me that he thinks the Barnes'Dance is still in use, maybe in Colorado? not sure. Our town is looking for ideas to facilitate pedestrian/car traffic flow in our village and along a State Route that runs through both village and town. JK

-- Jean A. Krym (jkwhistlestop@aol.com), March 05, 2004.

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