There’s now a “Shibuya crossing” in the heart of KL

We might not be able to travel to Japan due to the current pandemic situation but you can experience “Shibuya crossing” in downtown KL. Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) has implemented a pedestrian scramble at the busy intersection of Bukit Bintang which started yesterday.

According to DBKL, the new pedestrian crossing would optimise walkability in the high-traffic pedestrian area. Not only this would provide greater convenience to pedestrians but also improves road safety as well.

Instead of waiting for multiple light changes, the new system will stop all vehicle traffic from all directions, allowing pedestrians can cross straight and diagonally at the same time.

The pedestrian scramble is located at the intersection of Jalan Sultan Ismail and Jalan Bukit Bintang where the Bukit Bintang MRT and monorail stations are located.

The Shibuya scramble in Tokyo is the most iconic example and it’s often called the busiest pedestrian intersection in the world. It was even featured in Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift.

In 2016, it is estimated that up to 3,000 pedestrians cross the intersection for every green light which has an interval of two minutes. According to a survey conducted in 2012, an estimated 1.5 million pedestrians cross the intersection each week.

You can even watch the live feed of the crossing on YouTube. Due to the pandemic, the crowd isn’t as massive as it used to be.

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Alexander Wong