Stand to the right, walk to the left

Simple escalator rules.

Follow 'em, people.

Especially when you’re on the Metro in DC.

Agreed 100% - except in Australia, it’s the other way around. But whatever you do, if it’s very busy, don’t stand side by side blocking both left and right.


Look, just get the fuck out of my way okay? I’m the most important person here so the rest of you can just bale left or right; I don’t care. Just get the fuck out of my way! And stop grabbing my ass too! It’s people like you that make my day a total pain in the ass!

Sheesh! Some people, huh?

Hear, hear! Uh…with one small but important exception: cute women may still grab my ass…

Same for the people movers in the airport. I always thought people who rushed through the airport getting mad at standees on the people movers were jerks until I had 30 mintues 'till takeoff on the last flight out of Pitt to come home. I was hauling ass down the movers, yelling “Move to the right! Move to the right! Standees to the right!”. When I was done (I barely made my flight) I thought DAMN, I musta looked insane back there.

Anyway, stand to the right on the people movers, 'K? Some of us have to haul ass (due to no fault of our own)

when the power went out. Had some woman grabbing my butt for 30 minutes before the power was restored! Whew, that was a close one!
later, Tom.

Also the steps going down into the subway, though with a slight variation because the steps don’t move. During rush hour, it can actually be dangerous if you suddenly stop mid-stairway to look for something in your bag, or to chat with a friend. People are just boiling down those stairs, and I’ll see you stop and I’ll catch myself in time, but the people behind me might not notice I’m stopping, and frankly I don’t want to be shoved down a flight of concrete steps.

These rules should be followed everywhere - the subway, the escalator and the SIDEWALK.

If there’s one thing I hate, it’s doing that little “I’ll go to the left. Oh! Ok, I’ll go to the right. Oh! Ok, I’ll go to the left. Oh! Ok, I’ll go to the right.” dance 16 times on one block. I do not have that much energy. I do not want to do a little boogie with every schmuck who doesn’t know which side of the sidewalk to walk on.

I’m submitting a bill to the NY House of Representatives to change the state motto to “NEW YORK—THE ‘GET THE FUCK OUTTA MY WAY’ STATE.”

Or as the PA over the peoplemover at the Vegas airport says, “This is J.J. Walker and it’s Dyn-o-mite,
when you hold the handrail and walk on the right.”


Here, the individual who insists on standing on the left as thousands of commuters descend into the subway system gets a nice little “bump” from passers-by until he or she gets the picture.

Other pet peeves:

  1. Upon stepping off the escalator, stopping immediately to look around as the escalator continues to dump the hundred people behind you off and everyone ends up log-jamming into you. WOULD IT KILL YOU TO TAKE A FEW STEPS FORWARD?!?

  2. We have stairs that we have to take down to a middle level before we can use the escalators to get to the subway track level. These stair can accomodate two people side by side. During evening rush hour, the stairs are packed with (as I mentioned) hundreds of people that flow through each minute. If you are using a cell phone, for god’s sake, use it up on the sidewalk! Do not use it as you are descending the stairs, then realize you’re about to be cut off, and STOP ON THE STAIRS. That’s why I smash into you and yell “Nice place to stop and have a conversation, dumbass!!!” There are dozens of people behind you. You have created a massive logjam due to your sense of self-importance. Go hug the third rail.

Are the Stroller People.

You’re at a festival or fair or airport or something and there’s a “corridor” for walking and plenty of places to step aside to stop and chat, wipe your kid’s nose, whatever.

For some reason, people with strollers ALWAYS come to a dead stop in the middle of the corridor where others are trying to walk through. Then you are forced to become a “spawner.” Like a salmon swimming upstream, you have to now walk against pedestrian traffic to get around the Stroller People.

Please, Goddess, if something were to go horribly wrong and I have children someday, let me remember how stupid and inconsiderate it is to stop my stroller in the middle of traffic. Please grant me the presence of mind to pull the fuck out of the way…

My OP was about tourists, mostly, here in DC. Today’s the last day of the tourist season, however, and it soon will return to normal here in the lovely nation’s capital (the capital is lovely, not necessarily the nation).

We’ll get a gaggle of people from Bumfuck, USA all exhibiting “family values” and traveling en masse to see the Smithsonian and the Mall. But, they’ll do it in front of me on the Metro, crowding the escalator, and are impervious to polite requests of “excuse me.”


Montfort, I know how you feel. There’s a crowd of completely oblivious people in front of you talkin’ bout how “we ain’t got nuthin’ like this Smifsonian back in Podunk”. You shoot them a look that, if you had your way, would cause their head to explode and their body to crumple to the right side of the escalator where it should be. You gaze longingly at the shiny metal divider in the middle and wish that those Metro bastards hadn’t installed those hockey-puck looking thingies so that you could wizz to the bottom on the giant fun happy slide. But to no avail.

As a person woth a prosthetic leg, I can identify with this thread. I run into (pun intended) people all the time standing in front of escalators, store entrances, loitering in the middle of store aisles, etc. For me, walking is something I have to consciously think about.

While I know most people dont give a thought about blocking a way through, sometimes I get irritated. (I know, bad attitude, but have some common fucking courtesy to ANYONE trying to get by)

“Oops, sorry my carbon fiber foot just smashed the shit out of your toe, I have a fake leg, and can’t feel it, perhaps you shouldn’t stand in the fucking way…have a nice day!”

Same fucking thing goes on here in Atlanta. I work in downtown and ride the subway daily. I am so glad the summer season is over so that the damn conventions and tourists can get out of town and stop delaying me on my way home.

The worst are the ones who give actually acknowledge your polite “excuse me”(and I am normally very polite) and continue to stand in your way. After one such incident, a woman said something quite rude, so I proceeded to say, as I walked by, “Get a grip- stand to the right on an escalator. Some of us have trains to catch.” See, still mostly polite.

I learned the rules-and on a Friday afternoon, come 4:15, you better not be in my way as I head down those stairs or I will give you a glare. The week is over, I’m going home, so deal with it and get out of my way. What you as a tourist have no possible way of comprehending is that if I don’t make it to my stop by 5, it will take me up to an hour and a half to go the 2.5 miles to my apartment. Yes, it’s a long escalator-now quit gawking.

Gah, I know EXACTLY what you mean about the Metro. My mom works downtown and takes it in to work. She also taught my little brother how to jaywalk in DC. I don’t live there but I know damn well not to stand on the left on those escalators, and I jaywalk there too. I hate when I’m somewhere and I feel like a tourist, so I do my best to blend in.

It’s like the tourists who walk on the bike path in Southern California. Never mind that all the signs are only in English so really there’s no way for many of them to KNOW not to walk on the bike path! The people who speak or read English have no excuse. They are morons. They seemed to enjoy getting yelled at by natives to get off the damn path. I lived there for four years, I know what I’m talking about.

As soon as I saw this thread title, I knew it would mention D.C.'s metro.

My question, why doesn’t Metro simply put up a sign stating the general rule of standing on the right and walking on the left??

Oh, wait, that would make too much sense and in a city that often defies the concept of simple logic and common sense, we can expect absolutely no less.

Klaatu, that should be your sig. “I have a carbon fiber foot.”


The problem with Metro escalators (other than the fact that about 60% are nonfunctional at any given time) is that they move too slowly! You have to walk on them to get to the bottom in any reasonable time.

There was a Bob Levey column about ten years ago where a Metro spokesperson said that was deliberate because faster speeds would cause kids to catch their shoelaces in the comb at the bottom and get hurt.

I’ve never heard of any epidemic of escalator accidents in European subway systems where the escalators run about twice as fast; I think the excuse was bogus.