Who Knew I Would Have So Much to Say About Elevators?

There is a lot in life I do not understand. And so many mysteries around me that I just cannot figure out.

The latest: elevator speed.

Perhaps you know what I mean. Have you ever noticed that some elevators shoot you up and some seem like they are not even moving? Some elevators stop incredibly fast, jolting and jarring your body, while other elevators run smoothly and transitions between floors are not jerky. It just doesn’t make sense. And don’t even get me started on the size of elevators. There is no standard service elevator size or standard non-service elevator sizes. I understand different buildings need different size elevators, but the variety of shapes and sizes always amazes me.

I have spent a fair amount of time in elevators since moving to Chicago: it’s inevitable when you live in a city of skyscrapers. I have also ridden many escalators and moving sidewalks. Both of those are fairly standardized. I mean, I cannot really say for sure about escalators since I am always walking up them, but they seem pretty standard (now I am thinking I have to do an experiment). As for moving sidewalks, they cannot go faster than they do because everyone already trips at the end as they remember how to walk, and if they went any slower no one would use them– although, this is the United States, our commitment to not moving is pretty strong.

I think I can safely say most escalators and moving sidewalks have a similar pace. But elevators. That’s just a different ballgame. What are elevator engineers thinking? How has this not been standardized yet? I am not a patient person, and elevators force me to be patient: I hate not controlling the speed I move. I feel like I am wasting time when I am in a slow elevator, and, when I am in a fast elevator, I become noticeably happier (you have to appreciate the small things in life).

On a completely side note: another little thing that makes me happy is coming up from the el at the Red Line Chicago stop during the day (or any subway stop on the el) and feeling the sun on my skin, smelling the (relatively) fresh air, and listening to the sounds of the city. It’s like rising from the grave!


2 thoughts on “Who Knew I Would Have So Much to Say About Elevators?

  1. “although, this is the United States, our commitment to not moving is pretty strong.” LOL!!!

    You got me curious, so I googled it…
    according to Wikipedia: Passenger elevators capacity is related to the available floor space. Generally passenger elevators are available in capacities from 1,000 to 6,000 pounds (450–2,700 kg) in 500 lb (230 kg) increments. Generally passenger elevators in buildings eight floors or less are hydraulic or electric, which can reach speeds up to 200 ft/min (1.0 m/s) hydraulic and up to 500 ft/min electric. In buildings up to ten floors, electric and gearless elevators are likely to have speeds up to 500 ft/min (2.5 m/s), and above ten floors speeds begin at 500 ft/min (2.5 m/s) up to 2000 ft/min (10 m/s)

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