Solving Urban Transportation’s Last-Mile Problem

City Monitor‘s article on Vigo, Spain’s recently installed moving walks came at an opportune time. Covered in this month’s issue of ELEVATOR WORLD, the Project of the Year winner “Mechanical Ramp of Gran Via Vigo” saw thyssenkrupp Elevadores S.L.U. install six top-of-the-line moving walks to transport up to 7,300 people/h. The rest of the story, it seems, include six more new outdoor moving walks, with a further dozen to come this year.

One of the six other escalators not mentioned in the EW Project of the Year 2021-winning article “Mechanical Ramp of Gran Via Vigo”

The article offers an interesting history of public escalators and elevators, which it calls “the most popular daily form of mass transit, used by over a billion people each day.” With more and more heavy-duty outdoor vertical-transportation equipment, Vigo is fast becoming a model for accessible urban last-mile excellence.

Vigo has playfully colorful public elevators, too.

Time for Wasting Time: Fascinating Niche Escalator Podcast

We have our own podcast, sure, but it’s just us reading the daily news, newscaster style — a simple way for vertical-transportation buffs to keep up with the latest news by simply logging on to our site and plugging in their earphones. Apparently, there are other vertical-transportation-specific podcasts out there that get a little more jiggy with it. Your author found out about one such such podcast through The Guardian, in a piece titled, “A show about escalators, a show about cows: what’s your favourite extremely niche podcast?” Guardian writers described Australia’s Lindsey Green’s “People Movers” podcast about escalators as an “absolute joy,” with a “well-defined sense of sound design and humor throughout.” Your author visited Green’s podcast website, and was very impressed by the segment titles and photos, such as this one of Green at the Central–Mid-Levels escalator and walkway system in Hong Kong — the longest outdoor covered escalator system in the world — which has been featured in ELEVATOR WORLD. We are looking forward to actually listening to Green’s podcast, but fear it will be a tremendous — but fun and informative — time waster.

Green’s joy from riding Hong Kong’s Central-Mid-Levels escalator system in Hong Kong — the longest in the world — is apparent.

“You think you’re better than me???”

The above is a quote by Izzy Mandelbaum, an 80-year-old fitness enthusiast portrayed on Seinfeld by the late, great Lloyd Bridges. Mandelbaum, along with his elderly son, Izzy Jr., and even more elderly father, Izzy Sr…loved weightlifting and lived in the same retirement community — the fictional Del Boca Vista — as Jerry Seinfeld’s parents. The Mandelbaums were fierce when it came to physical training and competition, and Mandelbaum techniques landed them in the hospital. Twice.

I couldn’t help but think of the Mandelbaums when I read the story and saw the video on CBS affiliate Channel 12 News of a misunderstanding between two senior citizen neighbors in a condo high rise in Miami Beach, Florida. With property managers limiting elevator capacity to two in an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19, an 86-year-old gentleman attempted to enter an elevator already carrying a 72-year-old man and his wife. The elder man misunderstood the 72-year-old’s holding up two fingers. He meant “two passengers only,” but the older man interpreted the gesture as a “peace” sign. What ensued was anything but peaceful, as the younger man shoved the older one to prevent him from entering the elevator and is now facing assault charges.

Nerves are frayed in the COVID-19 era, and it’s a shame these longtime neighbors clashed in such an unpleasant way. Here’s hoping the situation comes to an amicable conclusion.