Every weekday morning a Cautions Upperclassman dives underground, grabs a train for Central Square, and then immediately turns around and grabs another one back. Despite his actions, his motives are simple, and such a circuitous route accomplishes a definite purpose. For with the present acute side-street congestion, the subterranean gambit is the safest way to cross Massachusetts Avenue and still keep a Bursar's Card intact. By entering the kiosk opposite Hayes Bickford and emerging in the shadow of Lehman Hall the Cautions Upperclassman neatly sidesteps all traffic, and loses no shoelaces in the bargain. A problem any time, the traffic hazard has probably increased with the added dangers of treacherous ice. Concentration on maintaining an upright position precludes watching for cars. But this seasonal distraction in no way absolves the student from blame for his part in the daily dodge 'cm game. Cheerfully assuming that safety grows with numbers rather than with discretion, the Yard-bound crowds forget about cars in the hope that cars will forget about them. Taking the cue from any leader who happens along, they lower their heads, and plow blindly ahead, looking up only when their soles scrape the far curb. At the opposite extreme from the Cautious Upperclassman, the heedless flying wedge dares any motorist to watch out, with the result that a few fenders barely miss indentation. And every so often, of course, a man is knocked down.
True enough, the reckless drivers come in for their share of the blame. A speeding, hit-and-run car caused the principal accident a while back, and metropolitan speed limits are not universally observed. But the number of motorists who will stop for nothing short of the Square is small compared to the students who meander with the intention of crossing, but without the patience to be careful. Drivers who aim for pedestrians are negligible compared with the pedestrians who bluff any car that strikes their fancy-before it strikes their instep. Often the bluffer forces the car to swerve and thus hit someone else.
Idly discussed to such an extent that it now rests on a par with the weather, the traffic problem will not be solved overnight. Until the appearance of an underground tunnel or more traffic lights, both men and motors will continue to share the same street. No improvement will come from bawling out errant drivers with a public address system; and short of a round trip to Central Square, a heads-up crossing is the best alternative.