Do You Stand Still on the Escalator?

At the convention I attended last week, I noticed something that strikes me as odd: A LOT of people stand still on escalators.

When I use an escalator, I treat it as an accelerated staircase, not a ride. That is, I walk up/down the stairs as normal, and since they’re moving, so I get to the top/bottom faster. It’s more efficient, and for me it’s also more fun. Fast stairs!

Usually I encounter escalators at airports, where people want to get from one place to the next. Unless an escalator is super crowded, my perception of airport escalators is that most people walk on them instead of standing still.

But that wasn’t the case at the convention. I don’t think I saw a single other person walk on the escalator. I continued to do it when no one was blocking me, but I’d often end up behind someone who wasn’t moving. It wasn’t a huge inconvenience, and it gave me this blog entry, but it did surprise me.

What’s your approach to escalators? Do you “ride” them by standing still, or do you actively walk up/down them?

7 thoughts on “Do You Stand Still on the Escalator?”

  1. Downtown Montreal has large underground complex connecting most large office buildings and public transit spots, and the rule is, like on highway, stand still on the right, and pass on the left. I usually go for the latter, but I admit, when I’m on vacation and don’t have to rush, I tend to procrastinate more.

  2. I was assuming it was a local culture thing. In Milwaukee, escalators are for walking. Since I’ve moved to Minneapolis, I’ve seen standing almost exclusively in mall escalators and walking at the airport.

    It’s hard not to get frustrated when you expect walking and find standers…. I wonder what a stander feels when someone is walking….

  3. Interesting. In the Chicago area it seems most people stand on escalators. Especially at the train station, but thankfully there are regular stairs there so I usually walk up those. At O’Hare it seems most people stand on the escalators, probably because it’s a huge area and they are also carrying luggage. What bothers me is when people stand on the “moving sidewalks”, which I’ve encountered in many airports, and block the whole width. That seems an even more “lazy” move than standing on an escalator, imo.

  4. I’m generally one to stand on escalators. Here in the UK in tube (metro/underground) stations almost all escalators have a sign saying “Stand on the right”, meaning people can still walk on the left side if they want.

  5. Like you, I usually walk on escalators. However at Gen Con I assume most people chose to stand on escalators as it gave them a brief rest from all of the walking around they did during the convention.

  6. I also try to walk. If I want to walk and there are a lot of people just riding, I’ll take the stairs instead. I always hate being behind riders, particularly the single riders holding both railings or the double riders who feel like they have to stand next to each other so no one can pass.

  7. I will walk up/down them every time…however, here in D.C. there’s an etiquette to riding or walking on the escalator…stand to the right, as those using it to walk up/down, use the left side. During heavy times at the Metro in the city, I find myself admonishing children and adults alike…”Stand to the right!”


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