stop walking on the escalators

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Izawwlgood
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Re: stop walking on the escalators

Postby Izawwlgood » Sun Nov 02, 2014 9:54 pm UTC

azule wrote:You can't be totally indifferent to which side. In order for this to work, there has to an implied side. You could possibly snake your way up, but sometimes there's gonna be people side by side or vertical from each other and you can't pass. Anyways, pedantic solution.
Lets try this again;
Izawwlgood wrote:I'm all about letting people stand on one side and walk on the other, and I'm totally indifferent to which side it was.

The OP (who has not returned to further chat about this, granted) was talking about how EVERYONE should stand, because it's more effective or some gibberish. That's what I was disagreeing with.

Translated:
I agree, that there should be a side for walking and a side for standing. I just don't care if walking is on the left or the right.

That said, again, even in the absence of an official walking side, you can simply say "Excuse me" and have people move. In fact, on cluttered trails, people will often say "One side!" to indicate "I don't care which side you jump to, but I'm coming through".
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Re: stop walking on the escalators

Postby azule » Mon Nov 03, 2014 12:57 am UTC

That's fine. I just disagree. I think, first you need an established side, then, people being people, you still might have to ask them to move to one side (either side).

I like the driving rules, so stay on your side. And when I go to another continent, that'll be the opposite side to which I'm used to. That's fine, too. :)
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Re: stop walking on the escalators

Postby jimmosk » Tue Jan 30, 2018 12:59 am UTC

Mordae, you at last have some experimental data on your side: http://www.gizmodo.co.uk/2017/03/the-re ... sometimes/

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Re: stop walking on the escalators

Postby Pfhorrest » Tue Jan 30, 2018 5:40 am UTC

The obvious solution to this conundrum is just to apply the usual traffic rule "keep right unless passing" correctly. Algorithmically, that rule means:

- If there is no traffic to your right, move right, unless there's nowhere right to move.
- If there is slower traffic in front of you, move left, unless there's nowhere left to move.

Notably, this is frequently misinterpreted by speedsters on highways as "move right to let me pass", but that is not what it actually means. If you want to go faster, but the way is congested and full of other traffic, they do not all have to pile up to the right and increase congestion for everybody else just to let you go faster. So long as they moved over to pass someone and there's no safe clearing to the right for them to move back over to yet, they're okay to stay there. If that means a crowded highway has all lanes full, tough shit.

When applied to escalators, this means that in uncrowded situations, it becomes the same as stand right / walk left. But if that starts to create a queue at the foot of the escalator, people who want to bypass that queue can do so, on the left, and start filing into the escalator double-file. If that means that there's no longer an open lane to walk in, tough shit.
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Re: stop walking on the escalators

Postby ThirdParty » Thu Feb 08, 2018 6:05 am UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:The obvious solution to this conundrum is just to apply the usual traffic rule "keep right unless passing" correctly. Algorithmically, that rule means:

- If there is no traffic to your right, move right, unless there's nowhere right to move.
- If there is slower traffic in front of you, move left, unless there's nowhere left to move.
You've left a very important item out of the algorithm:

- If there is no traffic in front of you, proceed forward at the maximum speed that you can safely travel.

Without this addition, your algorithm would allow people to park on the highway and cause severe traffic jams. With it, I accept that it's a reasonable algorithm, even though as you note it sometimes results in all lanes being full.

(At least, it's reasonable for normal traffic. Vehicles with a much-slower-than-average maximum speed, such as tractors and horse-drawn carriages, need different rules. "Very slow vehicles should never enter the leftmost lane" and "Very slow vehicles should not move left if there is any traffic behind them" both appear to be in fairly widespread use, at least in my part of the U.S.)

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Re: stop walking on the escalators

Postby Zohar » Thu Feb 08, 2018 3:35 pm UTC

ThirdParty wrote:You've left a very important item out of the algorithm:

- If there is no traffic in front of you, proceed forward at the maximum speed that you can safely travel.

True for traffic, not sure it makes sense for escalators. People shouldn't be expected to climb up them if they don't want to. Unlike traffic, an escalator moves you without you having to do anything, so that's why you wouldn't need this rule.
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Re: stop walking on the escalators

Postby Thesh » Thu Feb 08, 2018 5:50 pm UTC

Zohar wrote:Unlike traffic, an escalator moves you without you having to do anything


I'm not sure that's true. I'm not even on the road, but looking at the traffic cameras it does seem to be moving.
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Re: stop walking on the escalators

Postby ThirdParty » Thu Feb 08, 2018 10:02 pm UTC

Zohar wrote:
ThirdParty wrote:You've left a very important item out of the algorithm:

- If there is no traffic in front of you, proceed forward at the maximum speed that you can safely travel.

Without this addition, your algorithm would allow people to park on the highway and cause severe traffic jams.

True for traffic, not sure it makes sense for escalators. People shouldn't be expected to climb up them if they don't want to. Unlike traffic, an escalator moves you without you having to do anything, so that's why you wouldn't need this rule.

Well, I guess it depends on the details of the situation. If the ratio of the width of the escalator to the width of the hallway leading to the escalator is at least as large as the ratio of the average walking pace to the speed of the escalator, then it's okay for people to stand. But otherwise, standing could cause traffic jams even though it involves moving, due to people arriving at the escalator at a faster rate than people leave the escalator.

(Sort of like how an accident on a highway can cause a traffic jam if it decreases the number of lanes and/or encourages rubbernecking, even if the accident isn't blocking the entire highway and none of the rubberneckers come to a complete stop.)

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Re: stop walking on the escalators

Postby DavidSh » Fri Feb 09, 2018 12:41 am UTC

It's a little more complicated than that, because people might be packed closer together on the escalator than most people are comfortable when walking. Outside of certain fraternity traditions.

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Re: stop walking on the escalators

Postby Soupspoon » Fri Feb 09, 2018 1:32 pm UTC

Am i the only one that likes to stride up escalators two steps at a time? Though they have more riser than a stationary staircase, it's less than the awkward (a sort of run up needed1) three-standard-steps, despite being more than the usual double.

I balk at double-stepping down (unlike familiar static stairwells, already very much "controlled almost-plummetting", it's just too much velocitous downwardsness), but I'll quick-step down singly, also quite speedy if unimpeded.

(I never procede like that when I don't have a free run. That could scare others by aggressive overtaking, even if they are positioned to one side. I'd saunter past the willing, or just pull into the standing lane and enjoy the luxury of the enforced ride. Which isn't to say that others wouldn't barge past us all.)

When standing passively, BTW, I note that common practice is for passengers to take up only every other moving tread (full-footed). Only extreme crowding would force people to be nose-to-neck/chin-to-back. By preference, I'll tend to perch on the step above the one most might use, toes only and feet flat. Alternate excercise to the calves to that lost by not leaping around, probably. But also means the one who follows me can perhaps in turn be one step closer to the one in front of me (which is perhaps a subtle act of travelling-charity that I never even expect to be recognized).

But you have to watch out for the hesitent riser-rider. I try to ensure that, from toe-standing, I feel the tread behind come up to meet my heal before even considering releasing my tentative but persistent grip upon the moving bannister2, in such situations. Then if the person in front rushes off, raise one leg forward to ease into the space and start to stride over the combing-junction onto the immobile floor surface. (If there's nobody behind, I may actually wait and use the touch of the comb on the back foot prime me into rocking down onto the front-foot, like one of those wooden 'gravity walkers'.)

Downwards, I may stand with the heel on the edge of the step, depending on the shoes, awaiting the feel of the riser beneath 'coming up' to meet the rest. But while leaning slightly forward makes upward travel feel safer, leaning back does not feel quite so much on the downward trip, for some reason. And I'd rather be moving, quick-stepping as described.


1 And a couple of strides eats up the advantage. More than eight steps (3,3,2,…) and I'm back to doubles. Good for dealing with odd-numbered sections (3,2,2,2…) that I'm familiar with, though. Better than doubling then going for the last single.

2 By universal convention, moving ever so slightly faster, necessitating a careful 'walking back' with the fingers to maintain constant grip and yet keep the verticality beyond that which the elbow and shoulder alone could unawkwardly accomodate.

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Re: stop walking on the escalators

Postby Zohar » Fri Feb 09, 2018 3:50 pm UTC

ThirdParty wrote:Well, I guess it depends on the details of the situation. If the ratio of the width of the escalator to the width of the hallway leading to the escalator is at least as large as the ratio of the average walking pace to the speed of the escalator, then it's okay for people to stand. But otherwise, standing could cause traffic jams even though it involves moving, due to people arriving at the escalator at a faster rate than people leave the escalator.

The whole idea of an escalator is for people not to have to walk up/down stairs on their own. If you're not into that, use the emergency stairs. Expecting people to always climb them is unreasonable.
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Re: stop walking on the escalators

Postby freezeblade » Fri Feb 09, 2018 4:40 pm UTC

Zohar wrote:The whole idea of an escalator is for people not to have to walk up/down stairs on their own. If you're not into that, use the emergency stairs. Expecting people to always climb them is unreasonable.


I actually see escalators as a category of "people movers" (this is how we termed them in Architecture school), much like the flat people movers you see in airports. Their purpose is to expedite moving people around more than "make it so people don't need to walk/climb"
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Re: stop walking on the escalators

Postby Zohar » Fri Feb 09, 2018 4:47 pm UTC

How you view them is irrelevant, it's how people who use them view them. And if I'm after a super long flight and have no energy to move around, or if I'm elderly, or injured, or my leg bothers me, then I won't exert extra energy on the escalator and just be grateful it's there.
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Re: stop walking on the escalators

Postby freezeblade » Fri Feb 09, 2018 4:57 pm UTC

It's not just how I view them, it's how The people who design the spaces they are used in view them (i.e. Architects). Now, there can be a conversation of how they were planned to be used vs. actual usage, but I'm telling you that their original planned purpose isn't to relieve people from walking, but to expedite how people are moved though spaces.
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Re: stop walking on the escalators

Postby Thesh » Fri Feb 09, 2018 5:54 pm UTC

If they aren't designing spaces for how people use them then they shouldn't have been hired in the first place.
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Re: stop walking on the escalators

Postby Soupspoon » Fri Feb 09, 2018 6:06 pm UTC

They are also designing spaces such that they can dictate how people use them. Not strictly relevent to the stand/climb question, but strategic upward and downward escalators(/suppressors?) create enforced one-way motion to anybody not willing/overjoyed to break convention and try to overcome one going in the wrong direction.

I've seen an asymmetrical version being used as exit control of a ticketed space, for example. Enter the Box Office/ticket-checker door off to the side of the 'face' entrance, roam around the interior, up and down floors internally as necessary, then post-Gift Shop be ejected onto the (optional, but handy) escalator to bring you back out of the grand entrance in style, whilst guarding against (subtle, certainly) sneaking in through this wide area without having to pollute it with guard-staff or physical barriers.

But that is an indirect thing to discuss, I suppose.

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Re: stop walking on the escalators

Postby freezeblade » Fri Feb 09, 2018 6:11 pm UTC

I'm certainly not defending these designers or architects for all decisions taken in these sorts of spaces (I'm not in that particular niche of the industry), however when I was learning to plan these spaces in class (in general overview) we were taught that an escalators main intended use was as a people mover, especially to help facilitate movement during peak times (moving more efficiently than stairs). That is their intended purpose, and use cases of "too tired to walk" are edge cases, and perhaps better provided for in off-peak times with elevators (which is also their edge case, the main case being accessibility).
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Re: stop walking on the escalators

Postby Zohar » Fri Feb 09, 2018 6:23 pm UTC

Yeah, the designers' intent is also irrelevant in this case...
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Re: stop walking on the escalators

Postby freezeblade » Fri Feb 09, 2018 6:38 pm UTC

I feel that how a piece of permanent equipment was intended to be used in a space (designed by someone who went to school for, studied, and has a job doing this) is certainly relevant to a discussion of how that piece of equipment is used. I was pointing out that your statement here:
Zohar wrote: The whole idea of an escalator is for people not to have to walk up/down stairs on their own.
Is incorrect, because that is not "the whole idea" according to the people who designed the space. Sorry, but the architect/designer of the space has more authority over what "the whole idea" of the use of that space is than you do.
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Re: stop walking on the escalators

Postby Zohar » Fri Feb 09, 2018 6:59 pm UTC

OK, sure, the idea originally may have been different. The public perception of what these things do is different, so my phrasing was inaccurate. But it's how people use this that matters, not what people designed it to do.
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Re: stop walking on the escalators

Postby ThirdParty » Sat Feb 10, 2018 12:57 am UTC

Zohar wrote:The whole idea of an escalator is for people not to have to walk up/down stairs on their own. If you're not into that, use the emergency stairs.
The main place I encounter escalators is in airports, and I feel like usually there aren't stairs available as alternatives, or at least not without having to really search for them.

When there are stairs right beside the escalator, I typically take them, at least if it looks like someone is blocking the escalator. (I don't think of myself as having social anxiety, but somehow asking people to move out of the way just isn't part of my behavioral repertoire.) My body is not at its peak in terms of fitness--I'm in my late thirties, have a job that does not involve any physical labor, have never been interested in sports, and am not at all inclined to exercise for exercise's sake--but I'm not so out of shape that the simple act of walking, even up stairs, constitutes a large enough inconvenience to be worth spending any amount of time to avoid. I'll take whichever available option looks fastest.

Incidentally, it seems kind of perverse that a staircase would be faster than an escalator. Consuming all that electricity just to slow down people's trips seems like a waste.

Zohar wrote:it's how people use this that matters, not what people designed it to do.
How people use escalators is a mishmash. Some people stand, seeing the escalator as an opportunity to make progress (albeit very slow progress) toward their destination without having to expend the energy of putting one foot in front of the other. Some people walk, seeing the escalator as a helpful convenience that makes them less likely to miss their flight. Most of the standers stay to one side so as not to obstruct the walkers, but some of them don't and create traffic jams instead.

Isn't the more interesting question how people should use escalators? Currently there are signs saying "walk to the left, stand to the right" and "hand carts take elevator", but we could change those signs: e.g. to "no standing! handicapped persons take elevator. violators will be amputated" or "no walking! stand on both sides of escalator. always check with your doctor before attempting self-locomotion".

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Re: stop walking on the escalators

Postby Bloopy » Sun Feb 11, 2018 11:56 pm UTC

A local rock band here made a song called Escalator about the very issue of people standing still:
https://open.spotify.com/track/2D9ZdM1VmQ2t9FfxgeJiDp

Escalator etiquette isn't great here in Auckland because of the lack of non-edible subways, but things could improve now that they're building a couple more underground stations.

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Re: stop walking on the escalators

Postby somitomi » Thu Feb 15, 2018 8:18 pm UTC

Soupspoon wrote:I balk at double-stepping down (unlike familiar static stairwells, already very much "controlled almost-plummetting", it's just too much velocitous downwardsness), but I'll quick-step down singly, also quite speedy if unimpeded.

I have to admit I did that on a couple occasions. The controlled plummeting part is relatively easy to manage as long as there are no obstructions (i.e. other people), slowing down for reentry into non-escalator areas is the really daunting part.
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Re: stop walking on the escalators

Postby Soupspoon » Thu Feb 15, 2018 10:50 pm UTC


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Re: stop walking on the escalators

Postby somitomi » Sun Feb 25, 2018 7:39 pm UTC


Well, technically he's not going on the escalator.
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