Contextual Analysis: The Forbes and Morewood Crosswalk


One of the most trafficked areas of campus is the Forbes and Morewood Crosswalk.  It has iconic symbols that everyone on campus can recognize and is the place you’ll most likely see a number of friends in passing.  As some people cross the street hundreds of times a year, it would be a perfect place for an intervention.

Physical Qualities

  1. Wide open
  2. Plenty of viewing angles from people traveling in any direction
  3. The transportation hub to campus
  4. A number of bus stops
  5. It’s a three-way intersection as apposed to a four-way
  6. It can be viewed from some dorm buildings
  7. Can be viewed from the cut
  8. It has a crosswalk button with dedicated signs
  9. The traffic lights work on a system that ignores a direction when there is no traffic
  10. Many people drive through the area
  11. It is on a slope
  12. It has the notorious “Beep Boop” crosswalk sound indicators
  13. The “Beep Boop” changes tone with the weather
  14. The area has a number of light posts
  15. The road has dedicated turn lanes
  16. Very close to a number of Greek Houses on campus
  17. Areas of the UC have a good vantage point to the crosswalk
  18. Infrastructure around the crosswalk feels old
  19. Some concrete is cracked
  20. The trees around the crosswalk are very beautiful around fall
  21. Buses have shoulders to pull into
  22. A clear view of the Cathedral of Learning from the campus side
  23. The dorm side is shaded by trees while the campus side is not
  24. Sidewalk and road heavily salted during the winter months
  25. There aren’t many markings to show CMU pride

Social Qualities

  1. A place where the majority of the campus passes
  2. The “Beep Boop” is part of campus culture
  3. The “Beep Boop” has a deeper, sadder tone when it rains
  4. Many, MANY people don’t obey the walk signs and Jaywalk
  5. Most CMU students understand the way the traffic light works, and can exploit lulls in traffic
  6. People can forget to press the crosswalk button, forcing people to wait another light cycle
  7. Most students would prefer to not have to deal with the crosswalk
  8. Bikers wait on the side walk to cross the street
  9. A place where you can see many friends
  10. People walk in large packs as they all move in one direction
  11. Around peek times, hundreds of students could be waiting to cross
  12. When waiting for a bus, you tend to see 10 pass in the other direction before yours arrives
  13. Some buses will park in the shoulder and can sometimes wait a half hour
  14. The campus side can reflect work and stress
  15. The other side can represent freedom and fun
  16. Some people try to have conversations across the street with sign language when waiting to cross
  17. Traffic really picks up in the evening
  18. Crossing the street at absurdly late times is very fun because there is no traffic
  19. An interesting dichotomy between pedestrians and vehicles
  20. Vehicles tend to own the road, but the students own that crosswalk
  21. Students have stopped traffic by crossing in a large mass when they weren’t supposed to
  22. Pittsburgh marathon runs on Forbes and turns down Morewood
  23. There have been discussions to remove the crosswalk and put a pedestrian bridge
  24. Drivers usually hate driving through the intersection as it usually is a trap for traffic at peak times
  25. Students, faculty, staff, visitors must interact with it in one shape or form
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