scram by heiseighore
The crosswalk area in front of Asakusa's famous Kaminarimon has been converted to a "pedestrian scramble" which is a term I'd never heard before today. To me, it conjures up images of pedestrians competing in a scavenger hunt or being fried in a big pan. But it's nothing so exciting or cannibalistic.
Basically instead of only having crosswalks running at right angles, they've added an "X" in the center so pedestrians can cross through the middle of the intersection-- a design that's fairly rare even in a city like Tokyo that has crosswalks everywhere.
The reporter in the video shows you how convenient and safe this new design is and interviews a few workers in the tourist trade. One rickshaw driver says that tourists, both Japanese and foreign (but especially foreign) have become scarce in recent days; most likely due to the earthquake/tsunami. Another shop worker suggests tourists could be further enticed to visit the area by blocking off the entire street to automobile traffic--they already do this is many areas (like Akihabara and Ginza) on the weekends to accommodate extra foot traffic.