The correct answer, barring some sort of disability, is “moving stairs.” Maybe I’ve just found something else to be crotchety about as I age, but it seems like I’m spending more and more time caught behind able-bodied people who will board an escalator at the bottom, and chill out for the looong ride to the top. If you use them as stairs, you might take 6 or 7 easy steps and be on your way much faster than if you take the old-fashioned stairs. But if you treat it as a ride, you’re actually entering a state of suspended animation. Maybe it’s a good time to pause and reflect; for me it’s time to stew over the obvious dichotomy between me and the rest of humanity.
My observation, before creating this poll, is that currently about 80% of people treat it as a ride. Of those people, 40% respect people like me and move to the side in anticipation of potential walkers. The rest will begrudgingly move aside if someone like me comes along and says “excuse me.” But my sample is limited to a couple of malls, train stations and airports, so I thought I’d poll the wider SDMB.