Last week I got this email from a longtime reader. She brings up an important issue of being more considerate of our fellow riders.
Dear CTA Tattler,
I have a disability, and I take the elevator when I can at L stations. Where there isn’t one or its broken, I am blessed with being able to take the stairs as long as I am able to hold onto the handrail.
Dilemma: Often when I approach the stairs, there is someone at the top blocking the handrail. They are frequently standing in front of it waiting for a friend or talking on their cellphone. I say, “excuse me.” That usually doesn’t result in them moving so I bump it up to: “Excuse me I need access to the handrail.” That usually doesn’t work either.
If someone is blocking the handrail, I usually end up having to awkwardly grab it around them. They always look confused despite my several attempts to get them to move aside on their own.
CTA Tattler, any words of wisdom? There seems to be a lack of awareness that some people actually do need to hold onto the handrail and that it’s not just for decoration. Is there a way to ask people to move without being rude?
Honestly, I’m a bit stumped. I mean, other than shoving them out of the way, I don’t know what more to tell you. You’ve politely asked them twice. I think people just really aren’t used to dealing with people with disabilities and thus aren’t used to being asked to move for someone like you.
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