In an essay on why it takes so long to mend an escalator, Peter Campbell explains:
Stepping onto an escalator is an act of faith. From time to time you see people poised at the top, advised by instinct not to launch themselves onto the river of treads. Riding the moving stairs is an adventure for the toddling young and a challenge to the tottering old.
In third grade, we went to The Globe Store. This, downtown Scranton’s only department store in the ‘70s, was our class field trip, our travel to commerce, to the city. It was sparkling and linoleum and had the only moving walkway we knew.
Stepping onto an escalator is an act of faith, and we were reminded of this each Globe Store field trip by Maura Hoban. Maura Hoban had escalaphobia. She was afraid of the escalator.
So instead of gliding magically between floors, 25 of us, uniformed but not in uniform, moved to find alternative routes. Because while trusting in the technology of the newest moving walkway was one kind of faith, learning to trust in the strength of the group, when needed, was far better. United in escalaphobia.