Escalators - Ride or Moving Stairs?

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.

I use them as moving stairs.

In the US I often find my trek up or down the moving stairs blocked by people of the other opinion. Unless it’s a particularly long escalator I don’t think its worth the time to ask people to allow you to pass. They just don’t relate and are immediately defensive of their path blocking activities. By the time they see it your way you’re already at the bottom.

In other countries I find people to be much more courteous concerning escalators. Those that chose to use them as a ride stay to one side so others can pass.

I keep moving unless I am pulling something or carrying something that makes it awkward.

It depends on what I’m carrying. **Khadaji **summed it up well.

I use it as a ride. I can see the movers viewpoint, but I’m not the one in a hurry. Plus I’m too tired most of the time.

Moving stairs, all the way.

And, your 80% observation is pretty much mine as well.

It depends if I am carrying something or in a hurry. I always stand on the right no matter what though.

I took the middle option, but my reality is that it’s a bit of a blend of the two. Usually I stride up an escalator but I’ll usually do it in a leisurely half-speed manner. Taking a handful or steps to close the space between me and the person n front of me, but once I’m there I just chill out and enjoy the rest. That said I lean on the right hand rail to allow people to pass, just like everywhere else.

Frankly the issue isn’t with people who treat the escalator as a ride, it’s with people in general who seem to have zero awareness of the world around them and no consciousness of the needs of people other than themselves. You see it with people walking 4 abreast in a busy sidewalk. Putzing around in the center of the flow of traffic while texting or listening to their MP3 player. These people will hopefully find themselves culled by fast moving buses.

In Korea they’ve started a campaign: “An escalator is not a running machine!” and they’re asking everyone not to treat them like stairs. This is because there are douchebags that shove people out of the way while moving along, causing unnecessary accidents.

I usually keep moving, unless the escalator is steep and/or long, but have little sympathy for both the people standing around clueless on the left, and the people pushing past others to get ahead a few steps.

I apparently suffer from escalator vision problems. When I try to walk on an escalator (sometimes while going up but damn near every time while walking down) I accidentally step precariously on the edge of the stair and grip the bannister for dear life in hopes of not tripping and falling. If the escalator is not moving I am doubly fucked and I have to time my steps to the person in front of me or I am going to fall and die. I don’t know what it is about escalators. I can walk up and down normal stairs with no problem but something about the escalator renders me incapable of walking. Trust me, it is better for everyone that I step to the right and remain motionless until I reach normal ground again.

Up escalators are rides, to save you the exertion of climbing stairs. I stand to the right so that anyone in a hurry can get by. Down escalators are moving stairs.

I need a none of the above option. I’ve always treated it as a ride, and I suppose I would move over if someone decided to walk up them. But in my times at the mall, I have never run across anyone walking up the escalator. To be quite honest, until this thread, I didn’t realize it was an option.

I voted moving stairs. I’m posting because I recently had to endure Christmas shopping in a mall and GOD DAMN IT THOSE “RIDERS” PISSED ME OFF, especially because common courtesy forced to become one of them. It’s not so bad when riders are conscientious enough to allow me to pass them.

Sometimes I think certain individuals like to make others wait behind them for no apparent reason. That moron in the passing lane who insists on maintaining the same speed as those on the right is a good example.

If I want to walk up an escalator, I use the stairs. Might as well – how much time does walking up an escalator save you as opposed to walking up stairs? I think of the escalator as a ride, but since other riders may not be of the same opinion, i believe etiquette says keep to one side, preferably the right, and let the busy folks motor up the left.

Related, my favorite Mitch Hedberg quote: "I like an escalator because an escalator can never break, it can only become stairs. There would never be an ‘escalator temporarily out of order’ sign, only an ‘escalator temporarily stairs. Sorry for the convenience.’ "

I have problems with falling down traditional non-moving stairs. I stand still and hang on for dear life on an escalator. On the right of course.

I stand to one side. That being said, I learned “Stand right, walk left” in about seven seconds in 2001 on the DC Metro. If one doesn’t abide by those rules, I do get slightly cranky.

If there’s no one in front of me, I walk. If there’s someone in front of me, I stop walking.

Life’s too short to spend it angry about a few seconds here and there.

I’ll have to do a test to see exactly how much time it saves, but obviously it’s greater than zero. It’s the same logic behind moving walkways; by themselves, they are very slow, but they enhance your own locomotion.

If escalators actually moved faster than I can climb stairs, then I would consider using them as a ride.

I stair a lot, ride a little. Depends on what I’m carrying, who I have to shove out of the way.

However, I love moving ‘sidewalks’ such as you see in some airports. I, who would never dream of running more than 2 yards unless hell was chasing me, would gleefully run up and down those things all day if I could.

It depends how tired I am. If I’m really exhausted, I welcome the chance to get somewhere by doing absolutely nothing.