A guide to es­ca­la­tors and mov­ing walk­ways

Red Eye Chicago - - The Chatter - Rianne Coale

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!

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