Last week's stubborn set-to between a Harvard Freshman and a gasoline-powered passenger vehicle spotlighted the need for effective traffic control measures in the University area. The Cambridge gendarmerie, all too eager to enforce such rules as the "No overnight parking on the streets" ukase, seem to regard driver-pedestrian relations as the personal sphere of the parties concerned, with which it would be unsporting to interfere.
What few traffic signals are in operation are regarded by motorists and students alike as obstacles to the free play of individual initiative. Imbued, possibly, with Harvard's widely-heralded regard for personal idiosynerosy, they ignore all but the green lights and prefer to work out their own salvation. Considering that Harvard men make over 10,000 crossings daily of much-travelled Massachusetts Avenue plus a slightly smaller number from the Yard into the laboratory area beyond New Lecture Hall, the prevailing paucity of accidents can only be attributed to the marvelous broken-field agility which is early developed in every Cantabridgian.
However, the very magnitude of the daily migration from the Houses to classrooms and back make it a mathematical certainty that sooner or later someone is going to be seriously injured. Early falling winter darkness and the imminence of slippery, icecoated streets do not decrease the occupational hazards of student life.
Remedial action lies in the power of either the city, the University, or both. If it is impractical to install traffic lights on Massachusetts Avenue in the vicinity of Widener, an underpass should be constructed somewhere between Plympton and Holyoke Streets. This move, plus a stricter enforcement of traffic regulations by the ubiquitous blue-coats are years overdue. Further delay would show gross ingratitude to the goddess of fortune for her past favors.