A guide to escalators and moving walkways
Stores, stations and airports are often equipped with escalators or moving walkways to help people get where they need to be.
In the coming weeks, all these places will see an increase in foot traffic. Because holidays. And while most folks adhere to the social contract associated with moving about in public spaces, there still seems to be a handful of ass-hats who are unaware of transit protocol, or maybe they just don’t care.
Here’s a friendly refresher.
Stand right, walk left
Stand on the right, walk on the left. Walk on the left, stand on the right. WHY is that so hard to execute? Obviously there are people who want and need to use the escalator or moving walkway in a stationary position. Great! The right side is all yours. So, leftlaners, don’t be giving right-laners the stink eye as you pass them. It’s rude.
But disrupting the flow of traffic to stand in a lane that’s meant to stay moving is unproductive and annoying. It’s the most popular grievance people express about using an escalator or moving walkway, and with good reason.
A common rebuttal to this is “If you want to walk, take the stairs.” Well, news flash. It’s the 21st century, and people walk up and down escalators. Sorry, it’s what we do. When even 30 seconds could mean missing a train, moving staircase > stationary staircase. Every time.
It’s a moving WALK-way
Truth bomb: Unless you’re a senior citizen, person with a disability or young child, standing on a moving walkway is just plain lazy. While you’re treating the conveyor belt like some sort of personal amusement park ride, there are people behind you who really do need the extra boost it gives to help get them to their terminal on time.
And like on escalators, the “stand right, walk left” rule applies. If you just want to stand, move to the side; don’t block everyone’s path by standing in the center. If you’re in a group, stand single-file. It’s not cute to block the whole thing because you’re not willing to part hands with your sweetie for 30 seconds.
Don’t stop at the top
For the love of God, don’t stop at the immediate top or bottom of an escalator or end of a moving walkway. Whatever is causing you to stop can wait two seconds longer for you to get in a safe spot. Promise.
Let’s reference Newton’s first law of motion: “Objects in motion stay in motion.” Meaning not a single person in motion behind your standstill keister wants to awkwardly shuffle-trip over you as he or she transitions off the moving conveyor. You will get plowed over. And not a single person will be sorry.
This also goes for the people who walk halfway up the escalator and then suddenly stop. You are the actual worst. People will be galloping up the escalator and then suddenly come to a halt for no apparent reason. Ugh.
Don’t run on the escalator
Up or down, it’s best not to run—ESPECIALLY with wet shoes. You’ll be in for a world of hurt if you misstep and biff it. Not only is it dangerous, but it’s unnecessary. A brisk walk can get you up and down quickly enough.
Don’t cross over without warning
YOU made the decision to get in the right lane and stand. If you wanted to walk, you should have gotten in the left lane from the start. Don’t pull that thing where you suddenly decide you can’t stand another 15 seconds and quickly cut in front of a walker on the left side. That’s dangerous AF!