Chicago Kevin

From: Kevin B.
To: Jordan Knol
Date: Thu, Feb 17, 2011 at 11:59 AM
Subject: Nice blog

A couple things I wanted to chime in on just because...

* in Chicago people don't stand to the right on escalators.  It just doesn't happen.  It's a HUGE noticeable difference that I think stems partly from the Midwest vs EastCoast.  People on the East Coast are wound tighter and therefore are anxious to get to where they are going, so you have more "fast walkers" who will enforce the rule to stand to the right on the escalator.

[[I appreciate receiving this insight.  It's been a long time since I was on the "El", so it's nice to know I should wait a little longer until people in the Windy City get their shit together.  It should be noted, however, that this "stand on the right on an escalator" rule ONLY applies on public transportation escalators.  Once you're on a private one, all bets are off.  Sometimes, in Port Authority or at a movie theater, I'll stand on the left just to watch people behind me get confused.]] 

* my biggest pet peeve happens almost every time I go to Union Station in Chicago to catch my train back home.  People that STOP right when they get off the escalator.  Are you kidding me?  The next 10 people behind them have to stumble by while they make a decision about deciding where they think they are.  Most of the time this happens in high-touristy areas for obvious reasons.

[[I love your line: "people have to stumble by while they make a decision about deciding where they think they are."  This is EXACTLY what's happening: 
--At first, the escalator is a novelty (Every.  Damn.  Time.), "Holy shit, dude!  These stairs MOVE!  It's like... it's like they're CARRYING me!" 
--Followed by complacency, "Hum-de-dummmm... this moving-stair ride is freeeeeee... and I'm on iiiiiiit!"  
--Then, you would think the leveling off of the "stairs" would be an indication the "ride" was about to end, but NO - these rubes are always taken aback by the end of the escalator, like their equilibrium was so jostled in the last 30 seconds that they need a minute to gather their bearings.  (You will notice this jackassery on the sidewalks, too - as people exit storefronts, but I think the importance of pedestrian merging and not ever stopping will be posts of their own, so we'll save that for another time.)

Thanks for writing, Kev!]]

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