70 thoughts on “#845 Good escalator etiquette

  1. Wow, I could not agree more. Having to go to work in downtown DC with the thousands of tourists this past weekend who don’t follow this rule has made me appreciate this it that much more.

    1. Awwww yeah! It should be the same in England, Japan, Malaysia etc. Anywhere that drives on the left should be left lane for standing, right lane for over taking! :D

          1. lol… its carry your dog instead of letting it ride beside you. If you don’t have a dog at all, then you must disregard the message. Now, if you have a cat, you can do anything since it did not say anything about a cat. Or a hippo.

  2. Oh yes I love it when it works perfectly and slow people like me can relax and people with jobs can do their thing and hurry off. All is right with the world.

  3. So true. So true. Can’t stand people who stand to the left and causes a big line of frustrated people who want to walk.

  4. YES. my biggest pet peeve of all time is when people manage to block both sides of the escalator. the metro stations in DC are the absolute worst when tourists are around.

    1. Running up the left is not only ok, but awesome! Once I ran up the hugetastic escalator at the Bethesda Metro station with a bunch of friends, and it was one of the highlights of the day. I’m not sure if that’s sad or not…

  5. I couldn’t agree more. But just like driving on the expressway / freeway / highway, people manage to get it wrong. So simple, yet for some, so hard. Maybe it can be attributed to ignorance; maybe people just don’t know the rule. As a service to civilization, spread the word!

  6. Great point – breaking this rule is a total pet peeve of mine.

    This reminds me of my Uncle Yin – He has to walk up an extremely long escalator every day (from the WTC Path station), and plays a game with himself where he counts how many steps he can take before he gets to the top (more is better because it means he was walking faster). If the number is more than 45, he knows its going to be a good day. A nice little litmus test as you head to work. I think people standing on the left ruin his entire day.


  7. My favorite is groups of people clustering on the escalator together who actually manage to get out of your way when they hear you coming. Thank you, skinny-minis!

  8. “Even awesomer,” I was about to write, “it’s universal—the same is true in my neck of the woods, which is not on the road” Except that it isn’t. Oh well, still awesome.

  9. A) Why are there 3 escalators? One for up, one for down, one for both up AND down which leads to spontaneous combustion?

    B) NOT awesome unless you enjoy getting assaulted by the shopping bags/purses/large winter coats attached to every person passing you on the escalator

    1. The third is for rush hour … if it’s a downtown station, more people are arriving in the morning than departing, so need an extra escalator up… and it runs the opposite way in the afternoon.

  10. Yep, over here in good ol’ Melbourne it is the opposite, and it REALLY gets on my nerves when people do not follow this etiquette and your left waiting in a huge queue on the right side because some inconsiderate person just wants to stand there ! GRR

  11. I do this, but it annoys me when while your minding your own business, other people barge past you…grrr. If they in that much of a rush, you should of taken the stairs. Rant over :) *sigh*

  12. There are three escalators because it’s the escalator from Canary Wharf tube stop, so in the mornings it is two up and one down as people arrive for work and in the evening it is two down and one up as people go home.

  13. i encourage everyone to shout “ESCALUMP!!!” (n. a person who becomes a human speed bump by suddenly stopping at the top or bottom of Metro escalators.) if they see someone standing on the wrong side… as a dc metro rider, i appreciate this post. good escalator etiquette is important to know!

  14. I live in Australia, but I was not aware of any rule of having to stay on one particular side. I just think it is common courtesy to not block both sides when you were say with another person, although many people seem to be clueless about this…

  15. last summer while in japan i learned that its the same stand on the right walk on the left rule except for when you’re in osaka where the do the opposite like in australia

  16. There are also those “lovely” times when a crowd coming out of a concert builds up and mills around at the bottom of the escalators. Massive disaster in the making!

  17. Even if you haven’t EVER heard of this rule…doesnt it take about two seconds to figure it out??? Same with walking to the right of a sidewalk…i dont get the morons that walk down the left side, crashing into people, near misses etc…you’re a human…use that brain…figure it out!

  18. The worst is when there is an up escalator on one side, a down escalator on the other and a double or triple wide set of stairs in the middle. I find this around subways, and people crowd and line up for the escalator. Really? Is everybody THAT lazy? I always take the stairs and beat them all to the top.

  19. OR…Especially for those places there’s a choice of stairs, for those who have witnessed esaclator accidents and for those who struggle with spacial perception so can’t quite time the on/off thing… YOU MUST VISIT Matt Gartland’s Random Acts of Greatness site, Feb. 5th. 2011 and see what Volkswagon has done “to” bring a much healthier and FUN, FUN, FUN, alternative to the escalator…LOVE THIS and wish for more:) SOOOOOOO AWESOME!!!

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