Student Affairs wants you to ‘Love your Crosswalk’ and be safe


A pedestrian safety project that began with an off-the-wall idea in February 2020 can now be found at a street corner near you in Oakland.

The Love Your Crosswalk campaign grew out of a monthly creative session with the Student Affairs communications team, said Janine Fisher, the office’s director of marketing and communications.


  • Always use the sidewalk. If there is no sidewalk, walk facing traffic.

  • Cross at marked crosswalks or intersections.

  • Don’t rely on pedestrian signals along — look before you cross the road.

  • Look left, right and left again before crossing — especially on Fifth Avenue.

  • Don’t assume vehicles will stop. Make eye contact with the driver.

“Pedestrian safety has always been a long-standing concern” Fisher said. “We have new students that come in and a lot of them aren’t from urban areas. The roads are confusing, because they’re one way; they’re two way. The bus lane throws everybody off. And we have a lot of visitors to Oakland as well.”

Just prior to the 2020 brainstorming session, a senior anthropology student, Barbara Como, had been killed when she was struck by a Port Authority bus while walking legally across DeSoto Street.

But even without that tragic incident, “This has been something that the institution, the police, the community has been trying to address for years,” Fisher said. “I was an undergraduate at Pitt in the late 90s, and I remember it was a concern then.”

The marketing team wanted to come up with something that was creative, interactive, engaging and potentially memorable, she said.

The awareness campaign comes in the form of 28 “Love Your Crosswalk” stickers on the sidewalks at all of the high-traffic intersections along Fifth and Forbes avenues in Oakland. Each of the stickers has a QR code that when scanned pulls up a quiz featuring pedestrian safety and Pitt trivia questions, unique to each crosswalk.

Some examples:

Has Pitt always had the name University of Pittsburgh? (Answer: No, it was previously the Pittsburgh Academy and Western University of Pennsylvania.)

When you come to an intersection with a “push button for walk” signal, you should: (Answer: Push the button and wait for the “walk” signal; NOT, Push the button and cross the street right away.)

The primary target of these messages is students, but faculty, staff and visitors need to pay attention too when walking. Construction projects often bring with them changing traffic patterns and closed sidewalks that can challenge even the most veteran Oakland pedestrian.

The pandemic was one reason the project has taken so long, but the team also had to coordinate with the city’s Department of Mobility and Infrastructure to get the appropriate permissions. Then when it came to placing the stickers, the Student Affairs team were the ones down on their knees doing the work.

But Fisher is obviously excited to finally see this idea become a reality.

“The goal is just more awareness,” she said. “Awareness or exposure to this is a positive for everyone, and safety of our community is our main goal.”

The stickers are definitely getting some attention. By last week, the QR codes had been scanned nearly 600 times and more than 300 people had taken the quizzes.

Susan Jones is editor of the University Times. Reach her at or 724-244-4042.


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