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Nagoya ordinance prohibits walking on escalators

66 Comments

A new ordinance prohibiting people from walking on escalators went into effect in Nagoya on Sunday.

Under the ordinance, people are required to to stand still when riding escalators in public places such as train stations, office buildings and shopping centers, Kyodo News reported. However, the ordinance is non-binding and there are no penalties for anyone who violates it.

The Nagoya City government has been running TV commercials and put up posters about the new ordinance at major train stations.

It is usual in Japan for people on escalators to stand still on the left side and leave the right side for people to walk up or down. Nagoya officials said they hope people will stand still on both sides as they ride escalators.

Nagoya is the second area to introduce such an ordinance after Saitama Prefecture tried it in October 2021, but without success.

In recent years, there have been many incidents of people losing their balance and knocking others over, as well as accidents involving commuters running up and down the escalators, who snag handbags or bump into luggage as they pass people standing still. There are also dangers for those with disabilities or injuries, who need crutches or walking canes.

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66 Comments
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with regard to "incidents" and "problems", walking on elevators isn't the problem.... unawareness (of self and/or others) is the problem..... better to educate, than legislate.... my view.

35 ( +41 / -6 )

In recent years, there have been many incidents of people losing their balance and knocking others over, as well as accidents involving commuters running up and down the escalators, who snag handbags or bump into luggage as they pass people standing still. There are also dangers for those with disabilities or injuries, who need crutches or walking canes.

Just to be clear: all of this stuff happens when people use the stairs too. Or just walks down the street. Yet nobody feels the need to pass laws requiring everyone stand still ……pretty much everywhere and all the time to save us from the danger of losing our balance.

I just hate this rule and the PR campaign that goes with it so much.

25 ( +30 / -5 )

there have been many incidents of people losing their balance and knocking others over

Well, welcome to the big city. In all my time in Tokyo, I've seen a lot more accidents on stairs than on escalators. And on the latter, it's usually a case of a belligerent or drunken individual rather than any inherent problem with escalators. Hey, let's abolish stairs!

19 ( +28 / -9 )

However, the ordinance is non-binding and there are no penalties for anyone who violates it.

Good luck with enforcing this then, specially in train stations where the schedules can be tight and people have to hurry to change trains or be left waiting at the station several extra minutes in each of their transfers.

18 ( +21 / -3 )

probably, any "incidents" or "problems" are due to people walking/running/climbing/doing everything, while staring at their fone....

16 ( +16 / -0 )

Creating problems where there is no problem.

15 ( +16 / -1 )

What a stupid rule.

Stand on the left, walk on the right. Not too difficult is it.

14 ( +17 / -3 )

The reason they made it a non-binding ordinancr is so they don't have to pay to enforce and police it.

By makking a campaign, they will try and get grumpy, lazy, non escalator walkers whobhave no where to be in particular, to shame the busy escalator walkers.

Some keen public enforcers will ride defiantly on the right, blocking all traffic and with a smug grin, knowing they are enforcing a local 'rule'.

It will then become 'shame custom' - but due to the fact that people need to get to work and not be 'in shame' for being late, there will just be increased aggression amd likey more accidents as people push and shove to navigate around this stupid unnessecary 'rule' and it's virtue signaling enforcers.

14 ( +16 / -2 )

Saitama did that and I notice people still walk and run on escalators.

14 ( +15 / -1 )

Not everyone is on time all the time and prepared to ride the escalators slowly.

There will always be people in a hurry, for any number of reasons. It’s the way of the world. So you’ll get people trying to push past; this new rule could well cause accidents.

13 ( +13 / -0 )

Most of the incidents that occur on escalators (and these occur with even more frequency on stairs and in the streets) are caused by people walking with their eyes glued to their smartphones.

13 ( +14 / -1 )

Nagoya is the second area to introduce such an ordinance after Saitama Prefecture tried it in October 2021, but without success

Remember that, how'd it work out?

Rule crazy bureaucracy with too much time on their hands.

Like now on the left or right hand side of the escalator, you will have people rush and push people aside to stop and stand in line on the escalator.

12 ( +22 / -10 )

I very rapidly learned the Stand on the left, Walk on the right rule from observation, and as one should, made like a local.

I wonder if women prefer to walk rather than be wedged in front of an unknown guy for the duration? I always try and leave an escalator step between myself and the person in front, to give them a bit of personal space.

The only accident I've seen was a lady who fell down a flight of stairs at a station. Folk rushed to help and she seemed OK, just a bit shocked. Tokyoites are well drilled on escalators and can really shift if the metro is arriving. Maybe not so much in the future, though, if they implement this there.

12 ( +14 / -2 )

These one-size-fits-all ordinances make me angry.

The current system is better for everyone -- people who have energy but no time can walk up; people who have time but no energy can stand. Everybody is happy; what's not to like?

12 ( +14 / -2 )

Asking not to walk/run on escalators in Nagoya has the same effect of asking the same in Toyama, Okayama, Tottori etc. people there live normal lives, you can actually take trains stress free and without rush. This if you even opt for trains. The whole city has wide walksides so you're free to commute and go anywhere in the city by bike without risking your life. Nagoya is one of the most pleasant cities to live in Japan.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

In recent years, there have been many incidents of people losing their balance and knocking others over, as well as accidents involving commuters running up and down the escalators, who snag handbags..,..

In recent years??? This is making it out that there has been a massive change in the way people ride escalators causing all kinds of mayhem.

I use these contraptions all the time and have noticed exactly zero difference in the way people ride escalator and mayhem going on. Here people not in a hurry stick to the left side, while people in a rush run up the right side). Yes, even in Saitama where that new ordinance was introduced.

The reason why have people suddenly began losing their balance and snagging more handbags, knocking people over more in recent years is likely due to more reporting of incidents. Or somebody making up stories.

if everybody would just damned well use them like they were designed for and line up in twos, then there would be no problem. Would stop the massive left side queues and empty right side (which encourages people to rush up) which reduces efficiency as well, and then stations could operator them at normal speed instead of at snails pace.

7 ( +14 / -7 )

However, the ordinance is non-binding and there are no penalties for anyone who violates it.

(Sarcasm alert!) Really! Wow, now why put an ordinance into effect that has no penalties for those who dont follow it?

7 ( +15 / -8 )

Kansai is stand anywhere for trains and people have to try to get on and off at the same time.

Not true

6 ( +11 / -5 )

Don’t walk on escalators, don’t walk while texting, don’t walk while smoking…. Honestly, haven’t these people got more important things to worry about?

Personally, I hate standing on escalators and it annoys me when people in front of my are standing and blocking me from walking. It’s a waste of my time and a wasted opportunity to get a little exercise!

”Safety” zealots and jobsworths, thanks but no thanks, you take care of yourselves and I’ll worry about me!

6 ( +14 / -8 )

Shake my head is all I can do when I read this nonsense.

6 ( +13 / -7 )

Number of accidents I've seen in escalators die to people walking on them: zero.

Just ignore this pointless rule.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

Nanny state much?

Show me one incident or accident caused by walking up escalators.

Follow me on to the train to write me the ticket. I have places to be.

6 ( +13 / -7 )

However, the ordinance is non-binding and there are no penalties for anyone who violates it.

aAs soon as I read the headline I knew this statement would be in the article. It’s not really a law. It’s just guideline. The same as kids under 13 wearing helmets on bicycles. Most people aren’t even aware that became law in 2006.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I can just see it - someone desperate to get their train, but can't rush because of the judgemental stares from grannies, kids in yellow hats and that woman who somehow always makes you feel 10mm tall with a mere look...

5 ( +6 / -1 )

In recent years, there have been many incidents of people losing their balance and knocking others over, as well as accidents involving commuters running up and down the escalators

Not a single one of these incidents is named. No numbers given. No stats. No rates.

And I bet the number of incidents on sidewalks dwarfs those on escalators. So why not ban running or even moving on sidewalks too?

Why not just ban everything? Then the stupid bureacrats and lawmakers can go home and relax.

4 ( +16 / -12 )

So is the Nagoya Escalator Patrol next?

4 ( +9 / -5 )

non-binding and there are no penalties

No point

4 ( +16 / -12 )

there have been many incidents of people losing their balance and knocking others over, as well as accidents involving commuters running up and down the escalators, who snag handbags or bump into luggage as they pass people standing still

Whenever I needed to run the escalators back in Osaka I usually turned off/down my music and tried my best to squeeze myself and rush up/down without troubling anyone. Now if you've lived in Japan (especially Tokyo) long enough you know this is not the case with just so many selfish people you can actually see everything, people "jumping" every step making the whole thing shake, bumping into everyone and even playing games (!), all this while running down escalators or getting into a morning rush train. You can't pay me enough to share the space with these people anymore.

4 ( +11 / -7 )

Apparently, less maintenance is required if people don't walk on the escalators. This might be one reason.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

Another insane rule with no teeth.

I shall be ignoring it .

4 ( +9 / -5 )

Monty Python predicted "Loretta", and now they are coming true on the Ministry of Walks...

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Good luck with that one. Nice PR.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Then there should be two lines left and right.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

A comedian named Mitch Hedberg once commented "A escalator can never break. It only can become stairs."

What's the difference between walking up/down an escalator quickly and walking up/down stairs quickly?

How about the train doors about to shut / in the process of shutting and someone jumps on the train?

Surely there's something about not running a red light?

What about those moving walkways at airports and some train stations?

Do we have to standstill on those?

2 ( +5 / -3 )

How much did it cost? Could we use tax payer money a bit more rationally?

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Yeah, I totally remember the Great Escalator Tragedy of 1989. Scores were maimed and injured in several 'death traps' of twisted metal and steel in the same deparrment store.

People had to post pictures of their fingers and toes on bulletin boards outside in the carparks to reunite with owners.

GMAB

2 ( +4 / -2 )

In recent years, there have been many incidents of people losing their balance and knocking others over, as well as accidents involving commuters running up and down the escalators, who snag handbags or bump into luggage as they pass people standing still. 

Clarify by what is meant by "recent" and "many".

But they did try a similar experiment in London at one station (Tottenham Court Rd.) in rush hour on grounds of effciency rather than safety - analysis showed that if no one walked, you could actually get more people up the escalator quicker than if there is one lane standing and one walking (this is due to people queuing up for the standing side). The experiment failed because everyone ignored it.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I will still walk up n down the escalator as I feel

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Never ever seen an escalator issue in 39 years.

I have seen people falling walking up stairs though, namely me tripping over a lip sticking out for no reason.

I would love to see a law where we are given permission to slap a phone on the ground of someone exiting a train super slow engrossed in their phone. They are rude and selfish.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

The only point is after the next accident they can point the finger at the bad guy.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Non-biding and no penalties but you can rest assured that the usual cabal of self-appointed police officers will be around to get in your face if you don't comply. Busybodies.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

The experiment failed because everyone ignored it.

That would be understandable from the point of view of those that want to hurry.

Lets say that if nobody walks everybody would lose one less minute in the escalators, and that if some walk those do it get 3 minutes of extra time. At the end not walking would still mean that those that hurry would still lose 2 minutes, even if in general it would be more efficient.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

analysis showed that if no one walked, you could actually get more people up the escalator quicker than if there is one lane standing and one walking (this is due to people queuing up for the standing side).

Even if total throughput were higher, having to stand means that the escalator has no value if you need to be at the top in less time than the escalator gets everyone there in.

The time lost by people queueing on the standing side isn't really "lost" time; these people don't care about saving time. If they did, they'd go on the walking side. It's no more efficient than telling walkers that they'll save physical exertion by standing; their answer will be that if avoiding physical exertion were important to them, they'd stand.

Most societies have settled on the "one side walks, one side stands" convention with this logic in mind: it lets people with varying needs get what they desire.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It'll be broken first by city officials.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Nagoya is the second area to introduce such an ordinance after Saitama Prefecture tried it in October 2021, but without success.

How they even try to enforce that?

There so much proponent of ordinance of walking while smoking then ordinance of walking on escalators. People need to catch their train or their bus, their train ran late so they need to make up their lost time.

0 ( +13 / -13 )

It doesn't matter much to me. I never walk on the escalators.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

A comedian named Mitch Hedberg once commented "A escalator can never break. It only can become stairs."

Obviously not in the sense of the joke, but it is completely wrong. Escalators can break and become death traps

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Escalators can break and become death traps

Like the woman who got eaten by one in China, while at the same time saving her child.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Today here in Nagoya they had gov't employees out at the subway stations, holding sings and making sure that nobody walked on the escalators. They seemed very dedicated.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

In all my time here in Tokyo, I have never seen anyone push someone aside to walk up the escalator. Seems like a bogus "claim".

0 ( +1 / -1 )

this would not be possible in Tokyo or even Chiba especially during rush hour, although it's not indicated on all escalators most know that the right side going up is for walking ...heck I've witnessed more than a few angry salarymen bark out at someone standing on the right side when coming home

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

all about control and being obedient

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Elsewhere in Japan when introducing this no-walk no-run rule, they have said that it is to protect the weak and the infirm from getting knocked over.

Why do they not say this here?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

There are studies that prove that more people can be moved by escalators if both rows are standing only.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Now make putting your bag behind your butt on escalators illegal too!

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Nanny state comes to my mind.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

The escalator industry generally discourages walking on escalators and encourages passengers to stand still while riding them. This is primarily for safety reasons. Escalators are designed with a specific pitch and speed to safely transport passengers from one level to another. Encouraging walking on escalators can lead to safety hazards and accidents, such as tripping, falling, or clothing getting caught in the moving parts. The International Association of Elevator and Escalator Manufacturers (IAEEA) and other industry organizations typically recommend that passengers follow these guidelines.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

What is the new mascot charzcter for that policy ?

Who got the brown envelopes ?

With such dire demography in recent years, no wonder some old people who start controlling lives of the young and active people would request such fallacy based escalator policy.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Kanto is stand on left and pass on right for escalators.

Kanto is line up for trains and let people off before getting on.

Kansai is stand on right and pass on left for escalators.

Kansai is stand anywhere for trains and people have to try to get on and off at the same time.

Okinawa is walk up stairs because no one in mainland Japan cares about them enough to have enough money for escalators.

-4 ( +11 / -15 )

 However, the ordinance is non-binding and there are no penalties for anyone who violates it

Ah, your typical Japanese implementation of a "law" where there are no real consequences if one doesn't abide by it. Good luck enforcing this "law".

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

However, the ordinance is non-binding and there are no penalties for anyone who violates it.

LOL! Typical Japan.

-7 ( +19 / -26 )

I saw these signs also all over tokyo now also. I have often seen people rushing up pushing people on the left as they go. Not only do I 100% for safety It will also speed up travel for everyone as both sides should be used. If you are in a hurry use the stairs. The quality of the parts are not as good as they once were and not walking on the stairs address the additional pressure issue that can cause parts do break sooner. It’s not use a safety issue but also economic and if they can not spend money on repairs unnecessarily I’m even happier.

-9 ( +2 / -11 )

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