It’s the busiest, best known, and most hated intersection on Pitt’s campus: Forbes Avenue and Bigelow Boulevard. The four different corners hold the Cathedral of Learning, William Pitt Union, Hillman Library, and Schenley Plaza, making it one of the most heavily-trafficked spots on campus, and one that most Pitt students encounter daily. There are a lot of different ways to cross the street and a lot of different obstacles to navigate. Here are just a few of them.
Crossing With Only One Second Left:
If you’re arriving at the crosswalk with only a second or two left on the walk sign, you have to make the split-second decision whether or not to go for it and possibly force traffic to wait for you or to stay and wait the entire next light cycle.
First, you need to consider: how much of a hurry are you in?
Are you late to class in the cathedral or trying to catch the 10a or make an appointment in the Union?
If so, you’re probably going to cross. Even if you’re not, you’re still probably going to cross because you can sue a car for hitting you, but they can’t sue you for being an asshole. Pump your arms a little bit so traffic knows you’re at least making an effort.
Crossing in a Crowd:
If you’ve gotten to the intersection right as the walk sign comes on, you have plenty of time to make your way across, but you’re also likely to get caught in a huge horde of students trying to get to the same place. You’re likely to end up behind a group of friends who for some reason needs to walk in a line, taking up as much of the crosswalk as possible. Or you could get stuck between two people who just ran into each other and decided to stop and catch up in the middle of the street.
In order to navigate this tricky time, you need to become an expert at knowing when to dodge and when to stand your ground. A group of girls walking in a huddle will most likely break up if you refuse to move for them but an overly affectionate couple will probably prefer to run you over rather than break contact.
Crossing When Drunk:
You walked out of whatever party you were at and realized that you have no idea how to get home, so you followed the Cathedral like the North Star and ended up at the intersection. You are impatient and overconfident and don’t have any patience for signs that tell you when to walk and not walk. You’ll most likely just blindly step out into the street and jaywalk because you’re invincible.
Playing Chicken With a Car Making a Turn:
Cars are just as desperate to get through this intersection as the students, which can often result in a standoff between you and a car trying to make a turn. A turn car will probably start out fast, trying to scare you into letting them pass, but if you keep walking, they’re forced to slow down. They will most likely keep inching towards you the entire time you’re crossing in front of them, so make sure you walk really slowly to let them know you don’t care about their time.
If you can survive a tailgate, you can survive a zombie apocalypse.