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The Monster that is the TTC Escalator

When I was a toddler, I had an irrational fear of getting pulled in by the toothed gap of the escalator as I reached the top. Always attentively, I made sure to step well over that gap as I got off. It's a good thing I overcame my fears and quickly graduated to expert level escalator rider before I reached the age when I could ride the subway. That's where most of us learned of the "walk left, stand right" mantra and the black and white signs at the base of the escalator always served as a reminder.

But the TTC is adopting a new policy that's going to force us old dogs to learn new tricks.

According to the CBC, our transit commission had all of the "walk left, stand right" traffic flow signs on escalators removed from all escalators. Why? Because a safety assessment deemed the behaviour to be unsafe, and clearly the TTC can't be officially condoning unsafe behaviour. Apparently the monster that is the TTC escalator was responsible for the hospitalization of 50 people last year alone.

While they don't expect the sign removal to have a major impact on rider habits, they do plan to reinforce this new anti-walking policy this fall. Don't you feel safer already? I wonder if they'll run audio announcements in the name of public safety: "Step right or step left. Plant both feet firmly on the step. Hold the handrail, and wait patiently to be carried along."


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