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by Melanie Woods

You’re in university now, use the damn stairs correctly

Jason Herring, September 3, 2015 —

Every civilized society has rules, written or unwritten, that everyone must follow. These rules exist because they make the world a better place. People who don’t conform to these rules face either legal or social repercussions, and then hopefully learn from their mistakes.

One of the rules everyone should know is that we drive on the right side of the road in North America. But the denizens of the University of Calgary seem to have trouble understanding that this rule applies to more than driving.

What I’m talking about, of course, is the staircase that connects the University CTrain station overpass to the campus. The staircase contains two sets of stairs divided by a handrail. It would make sense for these stairs to be treated like a road, where the two lanes serve opposite directions of movement and keep traffic moving smoothly.

But this isn’t the case. Students tend to take the set of stairs closest to them when they’re walking to or from the station, instead of using the stairs on their right. This results in traffic going both ways on a single set of stairs, while one set of stairs isn’t used at all.

Why do people do this? I hope that the offenders are just ignorant of their wrongdoing, but I can’t
believe that so many otherwise bright post-secondary students would fail to see the problem with this madness.

I think that people are just too lazy to walk the extra five steps it requires to make use of the right side of the stairs instead of the closer left side. It’s sad, but I fear the only problem here is the fourth, and possibly the foulest, of the seven deadly sins — sloth.

It’s frustrating when you’re trying to climb the stairs at the station to get to the train when there’s a stampede of riders coming the other way. But it’s even more frustrating when there exists such a straightforward and easy solution for the problem. Stay on the right side of the stairs. That’s all it takes. Make life easier for everyone, for once in your lives.

This goes for the sidewalk too. Stay to the right, except to pass. And don’t even get me started about the spiral ramp at the train station. If you’re not riding a bicycle or you don’t have reduced mobility, you better let the people who actually need to use the ramp use it. Otherwise you’re just wasting space.

We’re university students. We don’t have to live in chaos. Use the stairs as they were meant to be used, for everyone’s sake.

Jason Herring is a second-year computer science student. He writes a monthly column about problems facing University of Calgary students called Old Man Yells at Cloud

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