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Escalator etiquette.
Old 07-28-2013, 03:49 AM   #1
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Escalator etiquette.

Do you get annoyed at people's behavior on escalators?

In Toronto they have removed signs telling folks to stand on one side to allow walkers to pass.

BBC News - Escalator etiquette: The dos and don'ts

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In Toronto, that tension has been diffused since the signs telling people to walk on the left were removed, says commuter Tom Robertson. "You can tell some people get a little annoyed when they are standing behind someone on the left but I've never seen anyone say anything about it. I think many people have forgotten about the signs."

A spokesman for the Toronto Transit Commission said he could not recall any escalator accidents in Toronto.

Indeed, injuries and fatalities on escalators are rare. In Beijing, one died and dozens were injured in 2011 when an escalator suddenly changed direction and threw them off balance. Other cases have involved people being entrapped by clothes or hair, but deaths are very rare.
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Old 07-28-2013, 04:00 AM   #2
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Deliberate indifference to others has always been annoying to me. It says they're a selfish jerk who thinks they're more important than anyone else.

However, I find that since we moved to an area that is less crowded we see that behavior much less frequently.

And off the top of my head I don't think I've even seen an escalator in WV. It's just not that crowded that they are needed.
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Old 07-28-2013, 04:03 AM   #3
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Deliberate indifference to others has always been annoying to me. It says they're a selfish jerk who thinks they're more important than anyone else.

However, I find that since we moved to an area that is less crowded we see that behavior much less frequently.

And off the top of my head I don't think I've even seen an escalator in WV. It's just not that crowded that they are needed.
The article says that Wyoming has the fewest number of escalators, with only 2 in the entire State, and those are inside banks.
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Old 07-28-2013, 04:08 AM   #4
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The article says that Wyoming has the fewest number of escalators, with only 2 in the entire State, and those are inside banks.
I remember toying around with the idea of moving to a less-populated state that Wyoming was a contender for a while. Then I looked up climate data and immediately rejected it from further consideration.

Those folks take their winters seriously! And I hate cold weather.
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Old 07-28-2013, 07:11 AM   #5
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I'm one of those who always walk on escalators. When I'm blocked by someone standing on the left side, I just say "Excuse me, can I get through, please?"

That has never failed. The person has always moved over to let me pass, and will frequently say "Oh, I'm sorry."

Completing the transaction with "Thank you" makes it a good experience for both of us.

Frankly, it has never occurred to me to simply stand there and fume about it.
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Old 07-28-2013, 08:25 AM   #6
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I'm one of those who always walk on escalators. When I'm blocked by someone standing on the left side, I just say "Excuse me, can I get through, please?"

That has never failed. The person has always moved over to let me pass, and will frequently say "Oh, I'm sorry."

Completing the transaction with "Thank you" makes it a good experience for both of us.

Frankly, it has never occurred to me to simply stand there and fume about it.
That has been my experience as well, I've certainly not witnessed any arguments on escalators so was surprised to read the article, where Toronto have found it necessary to remove the signs to stay on one side.
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Old 07-28-2013, 08:31 AM   #7
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The worst is the long moving walkways at airports.

In an airport people generally want to get where they are going as fast as possible, but one often encounters people who create a blockade with their luggage while talking on a cell phone or standing side-by-side with their travel mates yapping. I don't even understand why healthy people stop on them at all, are they that fatigued that they need to stop and rest instead of continuing to walk at a normal pace?
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Old 07-28-2013, 08:40 AM   #8
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Torontonians tend to be polite and selfregulating. The signs probably just confused them!

Way Out In The Margin: Culture: Canadian Politeness
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Old 07-28-2013, 08:44 AM   #9
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The worst is the long moving walkways at airports.

In an airport people generally want to get where they are going as fast as possible, but one often encounters people who create a blockade with their luggage while talking on a cell phone or standing side-by-side with their travel mates yapping. I don't even understand why healthy people stop on them at all, are they that fatigued that they need to stop and rest instead of continuing to walk at a normal pace?
+1 People clogging moving sidewalks by standing on the left annoy me much more than people standing to the left on escalators. I'm annoyed even if I'm not in a hurry by just their lack of courtesy to others. That said, a simple "excuse me", usually does the trick.
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Old 07-28-2013, 08:46 AM   #10
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People have always yielded to a polite "excuse me" when they've parked themselves across the moving sidewalk. I normally don't try to "pass" on escalators unless I'm in a real hurry (e.g. late for a plane).

Big issue: People blocking the "disembark" end of the escalaor/moving sidewalk. I saw it once in Narita Airport (a line for a gate snaked across the disembark end of a moving sidewalk) and (worse) at Newark Airport, where the helpful TSA folks set up a US/Foreigner "decision point" right at the base of the escalator. I think, until you've actually been in such a situation, it's hard to appreciate the danger. As soon as people start bunching up the stairs will pull their feet out from under them and down they'll go into a pile while those sharp-edged steps keep advancing through the heap of humanity.
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Old 07-28-2013, 09:19 AM   #11
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and rollerbags would add to the chaos.
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Old 07-28-2013, 09:36 AM   #12
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I'm also the kind who sees the escalator as a means of adding to my speed, and I find a polite "excuse me" is pretty effective except with jerks. That said, I do cut very heavy folks a break by just standing behind them and saying nothing. Some are so big that I could barely get by them even if they try to scrunch over, and those folks always look so tired.

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Originally Posted by braumeister View Post
I'm one of those who always walk on escalators. When I'm blocked by someone standing on the left side, I just say "Excuse me, can I get through, please?"

That has never failed. The person has always moved over to let me pass, and will frequently say "Oh, I'm sorry."

Completing the transaction with "Thank you" makes it a good experience for both of us.

Frankly, it has never occurred to me to simply stand there and fume about it.
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Old 07-28-2013, 09:40 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by tiuxiu View Post
The worst is the long moving walkways at airports.

In an airport people generally want to get where they are going as fast as possible, but one often encounters people who create a blockade with their luggage while talking on a cell phone or standing side-by-side with their travel mates yapping. I don't even understand why healthy people stop on them at all, are they that fatigued that they need to stop and rest instead of continuing to walk at a normal pace?
Moving walkways can be used by standing or walking on them.
I sometimes stop on them. I am not in a hurry. I allow myself plenty of time when traveling to avoid stressing myself.

If you are in a hurry, you don't have to use the walkway - use the corridor.
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Old 07-28-2013, 09:41 AM   #14
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"Excuse me" works often enough when passing others on escalators (I don't normally try to "pass" on escalators, it's a short ride, no hurry) or moving sidewalks that it doesn't bother me.

What makes me shake my head in wonder are folks who step off at the top or bottom and stand right on the escalator off platform (partially) blocking others, while deciding where they want to go, and forcing everyone else to find a way around them. A few people innocently/thoughtlessly do this at doorways, elevators, etc. too. Hello

I'm tempted to brush/shove them (never would), but I usually just politely ask them to move...
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Old 07-28-2013, 09:43 AM   #15
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The escalators that I navigate the most often here in the Bay Area are those that lead into and out of BART stations, and people are pretty good about standing on the right. Like braumeister, I find that a quick "excuse me" deals with the occasional person standing on the left.

I guess you can get out of the habit of dealing with crowds though. After living in Los Angeles for ~20 years, where dense crowds on sidewalks only happen in certain very specific areas, I moved to San Francisco and had problems for the first few days trying to avoid walking into people on the sidewalk. Heaven knows how I'd deal with NY!
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Old 07-28-2013, 10:37 AM   #16
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To tell the truth, I never knew there was a "rule" and/or never saw a sign on escalators about where to stand. Most people I see do not walk on escalators; however, I have seen a few people in a big hurry walk on them. Moving sidewalks are another matter. If you are not walking on the moving sidewalk, stand to the right. Have I missed something in all my past years about signs on escalators?
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Old 07-28-2013, 11:21 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Midpack View Post
What makes me shake my head in wonder are folks who step off at the top or bottom and stand right on the escalator off platform (partially) blocking others, while deciding where they want to go, and forcing everyone else to find a way around them. A few people innocently/thoughtlessly do this at doorways, elevators, etc. too. Hello
.
YES!!! When I first read the title, "escalator etiquette", that was the first thing that popped into my head. I rode the subway for many years, and that used to drive me nuts. People would get to the top/bottom of the escalator and then just stand there. It happened a LOT! Where do they think the next person is going to go?
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Old 07-28-2013, 11:35 AM   #18
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I have the same problem with elevators. I can't believe the way people just stand there.
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Old 07-28-2013, 11:42 AM   #19
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I have the same problem with elevators. I can't believe the way people just stand there.
This has happened often at airports, in the int'l arrivals section where a couple of hundred people are herded guided from the gate to the immigration section. A large number of people in a hurry together with very narrow escalators and people with baby strollers are a danger. I always leave a bit of extra room in front.
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Old 07-28-2013, 11:42 AM   #20
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The convention of standing on the right side on an escalator is longstanding and international, even in the UK where you drive on the left. Witness this quote from the Wikipedia entry about the catastrophic King's Cross fire on the London Underground in 1987, in which 31 people died. The forensic investigation found that smokers exiting trains would light up while ascending the escalator and toss the match with their right hand, where it dropped into a crevice between the wooden escalator steps.

These combustion points were on the right-hand side, where standing passengers are most likely to light a cigarette (passengers stand on the right to let walking passengers pass on the left).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King's_Cross_fire

If you are into documentaries, or even escalators, this one is a gripping account of the root causes of the fire. This fire led to the discovery of the trench effect in escalators.

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