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Laws Against Wheelchairs on Escalators?

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    #31
    Law versus Insurance: I am now retired because of MS, but I spent many years as a Professional Mechanical Engineer designing systems for large buildings (e.g., hospitals and schools) in many different states. We had to design according to national, state, and local building codes (mandatory/law), but we also designed to insurance-company guidelines (discretionary/insurance). We would present the building owner with probable construction costs of those guidelines' various 'requirements,' and the owner would pick and choose design features by comparing construction costs against increased insurance premiums. Then management would set rules for employees based on a combination of law and the insurance provisions they had chosen. Those lists of rules never identified which rules were based on law and which were based on insurance choices.

    So, unless you can be arrested for using your chair on an escalator, the building owners are just protecting their pocketbook. In other words, when they tell you using your wheelchair on an escalator is against the law, tell them to call the police. (Granted, they can identify you as personna non grata in their building.) If they grab you or block your progress, call the police on them.

    I'm pretty sure a cop won't arrest you for riding an escalator in your chair. I'm also pretty sure building owners don't want a bunch of AB teens joy riding escalators in wheelchairs. So again it's up to us to educate ABs.
    Chas
    TiLite TR3
    Dual-Axle TR3 with RioMobility DragonFly
    I am a person with mild/moderate hexaparesis (impaired movement in 4 limbs, head, & torso) caused by RRMS w/TM C7&T7 incomplete.

    "I know you think you understand what you thought I said, but what I don't think you realize is that what you heard is not what I meant."
    <
    UNKNOWN AUTHOR>

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      #32
      I don't want to give anybody a problem, the thing is the world isn't made for wheelchair use and I'm just trying to get around. Escalators are so much better and easier for me. Elevators not only get stuck but are often very hard to find and are often very far away from where you already are. The escalator is already there and I know I'm safe using it. I don't know how I can fairly be held to a standard of safe conduct that AB's aren't held to. They can laugh, with a beer in their hand (some venues), shove each other around, hoot, talk on their cellphone etcetera while riding an esclator. I've been given trouble when I've ridden calmly, with skill and lot's of concentration. It's prejudice I believe and it's because of ignorance. I don't know how to educate people except one at a time.

      I go backwards down stairs and if there's no railing, forwards on a wheelie down stairs. I jump and climb curbs. I do lot's of things. It's so I can get around and do things. Girlfriend and I have a favorite restaurant and it's not accessible. I pull my chair up the one step and ride down it on the way out. They're used to us.

      I tried going back to a volunteer job about a month ago and I was explaining to my supervisor that if she saw me wheelying down the hills, I wasn't playing or showing off - it was safer and easier for me. She said she already knew that, she'd seen lot's of chair users do it. That was a unique experience, having someone already understand. It was pretty nice.

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        #33
        Okay, just got off the phone with my friend who was an elevator/escalator mechanic for 33 years. I asked him and he says that in his experience he's never heard of a law against a person using a wheelchair on an escalator. He thinks it's a bad idea and doesn't like when I do it. I keep trying to explain it's safer than he thinks. He did make a good point though and one I hadn't considered, check this out -

        He says that escalators can stop suddenly. Well, I knew they could stop and I wasn't worried about that but he explained that they can jam and when they jam they come to a very sudden stop, in about an inch. Everybody on it get's shaken pretty badly and can fall. So with that in mind, I am thinking I will definitely keep both hands on the rails as often as I can. I always figured they'd stop gently and I'd just lower myself down to the bottom - no big deal. Hearing about how they act when there's a jam has opened my mind.

        He calls them meatgrinders and talked about people being killed on them but those people are almost always the mechanics. He's got some gorey stories, yuck. I'm going to keep riding them because it's usually the easiest/best way to go, but I am going to hold on :-)

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          #34
          Originally posted by grommet View Post
          Okay, just got off the phone with my friend who was an elevator/escalator mechanic for 33 years. I asked him and he says that in his experience he's never heard of a law against a person using a wheelchair on an escalator. He thinks it's a bad idea and doesn't like when I do it. I keep trying to explain it's safer than he thinks. He did make a good point though and one I hadn't considered, check this out -

          He says that escalators can stop suddenly. Well, I knew they could stop and I wasn't worried about that but he explained that they can jam and when they jam they come to a very sudden stop, in about an inch. Everybody on it get's shaken pretty badly and can fall. So with that in mind, I am thinking I will definitely keep both hands on the rails as often as I can. I always figured they'd stop gently and I'd just lower myself down to the bottom - no big deal. Hearing about how they act when there's a jam has opened my mind.

          He calls them meatgrinders and talked about people being killed on them but those people are almost always the mechanics. He's got some gorey stories, yuck. I'm going to keep riding them because it's usually the easiest/best way to go, but I am going to hold on :-)
          When you order your Icon make sure to get it with the optional deployable air bag system.
          stephen@bike-on.com

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            #35
            Originally posted by stephen212 View Post
            When you order your Icon make sure to get it with the optional deployable air bag system.
            Actually skiiers do have an optional airbag to help in avalanches .. I wonder ;-)

            I do wonder what the Icon is going to be like day to day. I am most looking forward to the adjustments and the suspension. Probably a few more months.

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              #36
              Thanks for all the responses guys......I can't believe I forgot that I had posted this over two weeks ago. I appreciate learning from you guys that no such laws exist (at least as far as anyone here knows), so I can better deal with people who try to BS me while I'm riding an escalator......

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                #37
                Originally posted by stephen212 View Post
                I was never schooled in riding escalators and the few times that I have taken them, I have someone spotting me. Because, yeah, that 1 time out of a 100 (or a 1000) when something goes wrong ha the potential of causing irrevocable injury. And can you imagine being responsible for someone else's SCI? That would be an excruciating irony.
                That 1 time out of 100 (or 1,000, or 10,000) could just as easily happen with an AB who doesn't know what he/she is doing. It goes both ways.

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                  #38
                  Originally posted by NW-Will View Post
                  I did my rehab at harborview in Seattle and they took me out into
                  the city to train me on the escalators at the library(it has a really long
                  escalator to experiment on), and in the bus tunnel. I lived downtown
                  and was always riding the escalators in the bus tunnel, Nordstroms, Seatac Airport etc. Never had anyone say anything to me.

                  Elevators can be really creepy, freaking way out of you way, what are they
                  going to be telling us not to do next, so much for empowerment.

                  I think I'd be taking names and talking to managers,supervisors. unnecessary discrimination, would really piss me off. Like this shit
                  isn't annoying enough.
                  Was that long escalator by chance the long one running up from 4th Avenue to 5th? I've only tried it once, but when I did the right railing was really jerky (railing stopped for a split second a couple times) and I had to work a little harder than usual to maintain my balance. I'm avoiding that one from now on, because AB or gimp, someone's gonna get hurt riding that soon. Plus, those elevators seem very well-used (and fast), so I doubt I'll get stuck on one for long alone with a total creepo.

                  Unlike the time I boarded a elevator in a subway station in Chicago with some random dude, who started relieving himself as soon as the door closed. Have seen pee on the floors of elevators at public transport stations many times, but thankfully I've found it to be much less frequent in Seattle than Chicago. Would've done something, but I was too dang tired since it was right after I left work. Thankfully, that's the only time I've caught someone in the act.

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                    #39
                    Originally posted by SCI-Nurse View Post
                    I suspect this employee is confusing a RULE of the facility with a state LAW. You should contact the manager of the facility for clarification on this. I would also contact your local ILC and see if they can help with this clarification.

                    Under the ADA, they are not required to allow you on an escalator if there is a elevator also provided. State and city laws may therefore provide additional restrictions.

                    (KLD)
                    Thanks for the clarification and info. Regarding your point in the second paragraph, I've actually been yelled at while trying to use stations in Chicago where there is a (very narrow) escalator and no elevator. (In this case it's a station wedged into a very narrow freeway median, so it'd be tricky to even make it step-free without taking away some lanes on the expressway. The nearest step-free station is two miles away).

                    Sometimes it's happened at stations where is an elevator but it was not working; if I may ask, under the ADA, does that count as a situation where no elevator is provided? Thanks again.

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                      #40
                      I highly doubt there is a law against this but definitely there are signs. But you know what, I do it all the time and especially when I know they're looking out for me. If something happens so what. I'll deal with the consequences at the time just like anybody else would. I don't need anybody/society looking out for me to protect me from myself. I want the right to be an idiot just like any able bodied does. Ride on! And hang on!

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                        #41
                        How about on the walking treadmills/ ramps at airports? Anyone ever notice wheelchairs aren't allowed on them? I am wondering why... Any answers to that?

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                          #42
                          Those are really dangerous in a wheelchair. I have taken them sometimes when they are like ramps and it is nearly impossible to not roll down. And if I hold with my hands the chair flips over.
                          TH 12, 43 years post

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                            #43
                            Escalator at Dubai airport

                            I've used escalators for years. I would say I'm a lot safer than the able bodied people that go on them. They tend not to be as aware of what they are doing as me. I would says it's as safe as most things if you are confident in doing it maybe 99.9999999999999999% safe.

                            I a few times you get security people having a go about it but usually they are too late. By the time they realize you are half way up or down. Not much they can do unless they turn it to go backwards.

                            One thing happened to me the other day that really annoyed me. I was getting off a flight in Dubai airport. I know from past experience that most of the people there can't believe it when you can push yourself never mind use the escalator.

                            I headed straight for the escalator and this big security guy grabbed me really hard. I thought this was dangerous as I could have fell out of chair backwards. I don't think there is any excuse for assaulting someone. I headed up the escalator anyway and he was not happy. Shouting up to me that it wasn't allowed. I shouted down to him that I couldn't back down again.

                            Then a funny thing happened just after when I wanted to transfer terminals. The bus was not wheelchair accessible. The driver expected me to gewt up an walk up the stairs. I think Dubai airport has got some issues when they don't want me to use an escalator but are quite happy if I wanted to get up and walk up stairs. Just seems crazy.

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