One Place Where You Can Walk Across an Intersection Diagonally

A fter we finished eating dinner, we were walking along the crowded downtown streets on this weekend night in the District of Columbia when we reached the busy intersection of Seventh Street Northwest and G Street Northwest.

Seventh Street and G Street intersection District of Columbia Chinatown Washington

Photograph ©2016 by Brian Cohen.

“Wait here,” he said to me.

“Why?” I asked, puzzled.

“You will see,” he replied.

I have a penchant for being interested in some of the strangest anomalies found in this world — no matter how trivial or insignificant — and he knew of that weird aspect about me…

…but I really began wondering why we were waiting at this street corner — especially as the traffic light had changed and we still were not moving.

One Place Where You Can Walk Across an Intersection Diagonally

Seventh Street and G Street intersection District of Columbia Chinatown Washington

Photograph ©2016 by Brian Cohen.

“Now,” he instructed as he motioned for me to walk along with him as he stepped off the curb in a diagonal direction — and we started to cross the street diagonally in what I did not realized was a painted crosswalk as the traffic of motor vehicles from every direction stopped.

Crossing that intersection diagonally initially felt odd — typically, doing that at a busy intersection is usually potentially dangerous and could be against the law — but as he surmised, I thought it was cool.

Summary

There are probably plenty of intersections around the world similar to the one I just described where pedestrians can cross diagonally instead of in an L shape across two streets perpendicularly — but I have never experienced it until that moment.

Yes, I know — sometimes I can be entertained quite easily. What can I tell you?

Seventh Street and G Street intersection District of Columbia Chinatown Washington

Gateway to Chinatown in the District of Columbia. Photograph ©2016 by Brian Cohen.

Anyway, if you are even remotely as bizarre as I can be at times and want to experience crossing a busy intersection diagonally for yourself, simply head on over to the intersection of Seventh Street Northwest and G Street Northwest, which is at the edge of Chinatown in the District of Columbia. If you arrive by the Washington Metro transit system, you will want to use the Gallery Place – Chinatown station to access the intersection, which you can cross diagonally from any of the four corners.

Photograph ©2016 by Brian Cohen.

28 thoughts on “One Place Where You Can Walk Across an Intersection Diagonally”

  1. Patrick says:

    One I have used is in Pasadena California on Colorado Blvd.

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      I have been to Colorado Boulevard in Pasadena, Patrick; and yet no one ever pointed it out to me.

  2. andy says:

    We have one here in downtown Vegas and I’ve seen one in Long Beach, CA.
    Pretty sure I’ve seen them other places but can’t remember where off-hand.

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      I have been to Las Vegas more times than I care to recall, andy; and yet no one pointed out that intersection to me. Is it near Binion’s Horseshoe with the million dollars encased in glass?

      I am scheduled to be in Las Vegas in 2017; so I intend to look out for it there.

      I have also been to the Queen Mary on Long Beach in California — in fact, I have been to Long Beach in New York and Mississippi as well; but those are not relevant — and no one pointed the intersection out to me there either.

      How could I have bypassed all of these intersections throughout my travels?!?

      1. andy says:

        The Vegas one is at Las Vegas Blvd cross Fremont St, the intersection where the “Heart Attack Grill” is.

        The Long Beach one is about a 1 mile from the QM, on Pine St, where the light rail stops.

        In both cases, you can spot them using Google Earth.

        1. andy says:

          I wonder if the Vegas one is the only diagonal crosswalk at a 3-way intersection. The west side of Fremont St at that intersection is permanently closed to vehicle traffic — walking and street performers only.

          1. Brian Cohen says:

            Okay, readers of The Gate: andy just presented you with a challenge:

            Can you find the diagonal crosswalk which crosses an intersection with the most “ways” in the world?

            If so, I would be really interested in knowing about it…

        2. Brian Cohen says:

          Confession: I refer to Google Maps every day simply because I have always enjoyed looking at maps — especially now with satellite views.

          Thank you for that information, andy.

  3. Gene says:

    SF financial district has some of these.

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      I have been to San Francisco many times, Gene — even stayed at a hotel in the financial district — and missed these as well.

      Wow…

  4. Elijah says:

    We have these on Broadway in Nashville, TN. Which is great cause it can be a zoo down there.

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      Nashville — another place to which I have been countless times — and missed this one as well, Elijah.

      I can see how an intersection equipped with diagonal crosswalks could potentially cause problems.

      Perhaps I should start a list of intersections around the world which have diagonal crosswalks…?!?

  5. Steve A says:

    I believe they are called Barnes Walks after the New York City Traffic Commissioner who adopted them in NYC many years ago.

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      Born and raised in New York, I have never seen these intersections, Steve A; nor have I ever heard of that name.

      In what parallel universe was I living?!?

  6. JamesP says:

    Richmond, BC, Canada has at least one of these in the Steveston area

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      Finally: a city which I can actually use the excuse…er…I mean reason…that I did not know about the diagonal crosswalks — because I never personally visited it, JamesP.

      I have been to Vancouver and some of its surroundings a number of times; but if I ever visit Richmond, I hope to see at least one of those intersections…

  7. JakePB says:

    Gaslamp on 5th in San Diego too! Happy holidays miles hacks!

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      Happy holidays to you as well, JakePB — and thank you for the information!

      San Diego is another one of those cities to which I have been many times and have not seen one of these intersections…

  8. I’ve first encountered these in Japan and they were everywhere. Love it!

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      I have been everywhere from Kyoto to Tokyo to Lake Chūzenji, The Award Traveller; and yet I do not recall seeing one of these intersections.

      I did see an angry woman chasing a huge monkey out of a store near Lake Chūzenji with a broom, though. Now that was funny…

  9. Matt says:

    In Jerusalem Israel at an intersection known as kikar shabbat

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      Israel is on my short list of places to visit, Matt — and for many reasons other than the Kikar Shabbat intersection in Jerusalem…

  10. colleen says:

    I like these. I thought I remembered them in Denver. They’ve apparently eliminated the concept.

    I took a look at google and there’s quite a history, even naming them as @SteveA said above. I appreciate your natural curiosity too. So here’s my “cheat seat”. Wikipedia is actually interesting on the topic. Who knew?!

    https://www.google.com/search?q=us+cities+diagonal+street+crossings&rlz=1C1CHMO_enUS535US535&oq=us+cities+diagonal+street+crossings&aqs=chrome..69i57.16550j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      I certainly did not know, colleen. Thank you for providing that information.

      Reading all of the responses for this article is one of many reasons why I enjoy writing articles for The Gate — as well as why I am grateful and appreciative of readers like you…

  11. James says:

    There are (were) a couple in Waikiki along Kalaka’ua Avenue near the Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center.

  12. GloverParker says:

    They’re called a “Barnes Dance” or a pedestrian scramble. I wish we had more of them in DC!

  13. Peter says:

    Toronto has 2 or 3 downtown.

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      I have only been to the Toronto area once, Peter; and that was a night at a hotel property in Markham.

      In January.

      In a room with no heat.

      I would like to visit the greater Toronto metropolitan area some day and have a proper experience.

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