There's one in every crowd

Escalator and stairs at Porter Square

Jared May looked up the stairs today from the bottom of the T's deepest subway stop, at Porter Square (actually, if you look closely, you can see there are two in this crowd - there's a second person higher up the stairs).



Free tagging: 


Used to do it

But then I got old. I can still handle the cardio load, but the extra exercise isn't worth the wear and tear on the knees.

199 steps

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Main span is 117 steps, add in the top and bottom staircases, and that's 199. At 0.15 cal/step, thats 30 calories. About as much as in 3 oz of Coke. Reminds me of those little novelty bottles they used to sell.

It's a good exercise. brutal

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It's a good exercise. brutal, but good. I go through there every day and every once in a while I force myself to take the massive hike. Of course, every once in a while all 3 escalators are broken and everyone is forced to climb all the stairs, and I swear it only happens on days when I'm carrying an extra 30 lbs in my backpack.

I'd love to try it, but I

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I'd love to try it, but I have a feeling that about half-way up, I'd be trying to straddle the railing to flop myself over to the escalator side.

Mid-50s & lanky

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Mid-50s and lanky, I always do it.

The first few times were slow, now it's fun.

Two steps at a time is easier than one, but YMMV.

I "ran" up them once.

Going every other step, and flying like the wind! Then I got to the top, and realized how bad of an idea that was. The world started to go dark, and well, I'm happy I didn't do it again.


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But I'm sure that the T is working on it.

And in comparison to the DC Metro...

By on least there are stairs at Porter. A lot of the Metro stations (and there's a lot with these "longest escalators outside Russia") have three escalators and no stairs at all on the primary entrance/exit routes. But then again, some aspects of the Metro were a triumph of form over function.

And yes, DC's escalators break down just as much, if not more than the T's.


One station (Forest Glen) doesn't even have escalators. There are 6 big elevators to take you nearly 200 feet underground. It takes more than 2 minutes to ride the escalator at the Wheaton station.

As Mitch Hedberg once said

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An escalator can never break: it can only become stairs. You should never see an Escalator Temporarily Out Of Order sign, just Escalator Temporarily Stairs. Sorry for the convenience.

Very funny

Except you do see "Out of Order" signs when they rip out some of the stairs and leave them that way for a week.

"Every photo of you is a picture from when you were younger."

escalator design

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I had a friend that worked as a salesperson for escalators. At least back in the 90's, they designed them with a higher rise (distance between horizontal surfaces) than regular stairs to discourage people from walking up them too fast/too much. With them moving and the gap between the stairs and the fixed sides waiting to gobble up shoes, clothes, hair, skin they want to limit their liability from people losing their balance. Fine if it isn't moving but when they become stairs, you notice the difference in the rise.

It's fun!

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I don't always take the stairs but quite often. A lot of times there are just too many people squeezing on to the escalators and being difficult to those that try to pass on the left. In that situation, I'd rather take the stairs. I go every other step but then I enjoy hiking.