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Look both ways!

(wikimedia commons)

(wikimedia commons)

Figuring out how to cross the streets in New Haven is one of the trickiest things asked of you as a Yale student.  Making it through these four years without nearly getting hit by a car is a feat in itself.  Here are a couple of helpful tips to make street crossing as easy as possible:

1.  Don’t cross at the intersection of Grove and College

This is a death trap! It is incredibly unclear when one is allowed to do the Barnes Dance (also known as crossing diagonally).  It has led to tour groups of prospective students almost being hit by an ambulance.  Avoid this intersection and cross at Wall and College instead.

2.  Don’t even think about jaywalking at the corner of York and Broadway/Elm

Although New Haven possesses the distinction of being the first city planned on a grid, it is nonetheless a clear demonstration of the dangers of poor urban planning.  There are certainly more egregious examples (Route 34 anyone??) but this intersection is confusing and terrible.   Even if you consider yourself a savvy jaywalker, this intersection marks the need for exceptional behavior: follow traffic laws, or, at the very least, remember to look both ways.

3.  Remember that at any intersection without a stop light, you have pedestrian right of way!  This might seem self-explanatory but it is always helpful to have a reminder — you might well find yourself standing at an intersection for three minutes before realizing that you could have walked at any point.

4. When crossing from Elm Street between High and College, use common sense.  It is unclear when everyone got too lazy to walk to an intersection and decided that it was a great idea to cross in front of Durfees and engage in some sort of twisted childhood fantasy by playing a real-life version of frogger but it’s just real dangerous.  If you are going to do it, at least be prepared to sprint.