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As Pittsburgh college students return, here's how to avoid closures and traffic

The Cathedral of learning, center, towers over the University of Pittsburgh campus in the Oakland neighborhood of Pittsburgh, Nov, 26, 2020.
Gene J. Puskar
The Cathedral of learning, center, towers over the University of Pittsburgh campus in the Oakland neighborhood of Pittsburgh, Nov, 26, 2020.

University of Pittsburgh (Oakland)

Pitt has already moved in 5,000 students, and another 3,000 students return Thursday, Aug. 25, and Friday, Aug. 26.

Traffic will be a challenge in several places:

  • Forbes and Fifth avenues in Oakland will experience heavy traffic during this time. There will be periodic delays in traffic for mass student street crossings. 
  • Lothrop Street, North Bouquet Street, Thackeray Street and University Place will be closed to vehicular traffic from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.on certain days between Aug. 20 and 26.
  • Ruskin Avenue and Allequippa Street will experience heavy trafficsome days this week.
  • Parking for the public will be restricted at all university parking lots and garages.

Chatham University (Oakland)

New and transfer students arrive between 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 24. On Friday, Aug, 27, returning students come back.

Bill Campbell, the vice president of marketing and communications, said there could be a little more traffic on Fifth Avenue near Woodland Drive on Aug. 24 when new students arrive.

“Last year we had a fairly normal move-in day,” he said. “But this year we actually have a little bit more people moving in, a little more higher occupancy in our residency from the COVID years, so we’re expecting a bit more traffic and a few more people.”

Carlow University (Uptown)

About 100 first-year students move in Thursday, Aug. 25, from 8 a.m. until the end of the day. They will be unloading near the main entrance on Fifth Avenue.

This is the first year since the pandemic that all students will arrive on the same day, according to Meredith Weber, who directs the orientation for Carlow. It had been spread out over several days to avoid contact earlier in the pandemic.

There will be programming for the new students and returning students all week, Weber said. One new aspect to orientation, she said, is a program to show students how to access passes that allow them to ride public buses.

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Point Park University (Downtown)

Move-in for first-year students is Monday, Aug. 22, and Tuesday, Aug. 23. Returning and transfer students arrive Aug. 25 - 27.

Keith Paylo, vice president of student affairs, said students and families seem more excited and feel safer than in the past couple of years. The university has continued to give families specific times to move in, something they learned during the pandemic. There is more parking available downtown than before the pandemic, Paylo said, which makes it easier for families to stick around during move-in.

Carnegie Mellon University (Oakland)

The big move-in already took place on Sunday, when all first-year students moved in, according to Peter Kerwins, the director of media relations. The upperclassmen, who signed up for specific move-in slots, will trickle in between Wednesday, Aug. 24 and Sunday, Aug. 28.

Oliver Morrison is a general assignment reporter at WESA. He previously covered education, environment and health for PublicSource in Pittsburgh and, before that, breaking news and weekend features for the Wichita Eagle in Kansas.