THE BATTLE OF THE ROTUNDA
The proposal to abolish the Harvard Square Subway rotunda ought to arouse a sentiment of deepest indignation in the breasts of all Harvard men. Intimately concerned as they are with the affairs of Harvard Square, Harvard men realize perhaps a little better than any others just how bad the traffic problem actually is; they dodge on-rushing machines in the morning on the way to classes, in the afternoon, going to the banks or the stores and even in the evening going into Boston. But through all these adventures and hardships, the rotunda looms large as an island of refuge, a safe harbor in the storm.
It is said that no Harvard graduates are ever killed in traffic accidents, on account of the thorough and intensive training which they receive during their College days in evading the frenzied motors which come flying up Massachusetts Avenue from Boston. This may well be so. It is a case for the Darwinians. But consider the freshmen, exposed to the worst conditions, possibly without adequate preliminary training. To them the Ice side of the rotunda must appear to be a special contribution of Providence for their safety while they are still serving their apprenticeships. Upper classmen, although now fully qualified as "artful dodgers" should remember the days of their youth, when they too relied on the uncompromising protection of the rotunda--not forgetting sundry entertaining exhibitions occasionally staged on top of this same stately edifice. Altogether, no end of "Woodman spare that tree" sentiment ought to be awakened.
Besides, there are plenty of really practical objections. No doubt they will be made by the opponents of the plan; everyone has some axe to grind, and if he wants to grind it badly enough, he will find numerous good and sufficient reasons why it ought to be ground. But unless all of the surface cars are going to be run under the surface--there must still be some space roped off for innocent passengers and others not directly interested in traffic dodging. Unless the tracks are moved there will be no more available space for driving, as long as automobiles are forced to keep on the right side of street-cars. And unless the sidewalks are widened considerably, there will be no room for sidewalk subway entrances; the congested passage in front of the Waldorf is a horrible example of bad design--convenient as it may be on those rare occasions when it is open.