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Commissioner Novick, Director Treat to celebrate Portland’s first diagonal crosswalk with modern square dance group

(Dec. 3, 2015) City Commissioner Steve Novick and Transportation Director Leah Treat will join the Oaky Doaks Square and Round Dance Club and Pearl District businesses and residents in celebrating Portland’s first diagonal crosswalk at 10 a.m. on Saturday. The modern square dance club will dance in the street, on the newly established marked crosswalks at Northwest 11th and Couch, educating the public on how the new intersection provides more comfortable, convenient access for people walking.


City Commissioner Steve Novick

Transportation Director Leah Treat

The Oaky Doaks Square and Round Dance Club

Pearl District residents, business owners, interested members of the public

WHAT:                 A pedestrian scramble, also called a “Barnes Dance” after 20th century traffic engineer Henry Barnes, is an intersection where motor vehicle traffic halts and pedestrians are given priority. To celebrate our new Barnes Dance, Portland is having a barn dance of our own. During the scramble phase of the traffic signal, people may cross the intersection in all directions – including diagonally. The intersection of NW 11th and Couch is one of the most heavily used pedestrian crossings in Portland, in addition to serving the A Loop, B Loop and North/South Streetcar lines, making it highly suitable for a scramble crossing. PBOT staff will hand out information about pedestrian safety and the new intersection. The new traffic signals are part of series of signals improvements paid for by the Portland Development Commission and PBOT using fees and taxes paid by new development.

WHEN:                 Saturday, Dec. 5 at 10 a.m.

WHERE:               Intersection of NW 11th Avenue and Couch Street

VISUALS:             Dressed in their dancing attire, with music playing and a caller giving directions on a loudspeaker, members of the square dance group will dance in the street during the three phases of the intersection when pedestrians are allowed to cross. During the scramble phase, when all vehicle traffic is stopped, they will dance diagonally through the intersection. During the other phases, they will dance in the north or east crosswalks.

MEDIA:             News media are advised to arrive early. After brief remarks by Commissioner Novick and Director Treat, the event is expected to last 10-15 minutes.


The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) is the steward of the City’s transportation system, and a community partner in shaping a livable city. We plan, build, manage and maintain an effective and safe transportation system that provides access and mobility.