Recently, Transport for London has begun to implement a social change in order to move the masses of people through stations and the Underground. The change? Standing on both sides of the escalator. Studies have shown that this way, everybody (as a whole body) gets to the top of the escalators quicker and has so far been trialled in Holborn station. It’s interesting to explore new and more efficient ways of moving people but also fascinating how social order (to stand on the right in this case) is so deeply ingrained and thus interior designers, city planners and architects must strike a balance.
Through similar (and seemingly counter-intuitive) studies, it has been found that the quickest way to funnel a crowd of people through a door way is to put a bollard just outside the opening. This serves to break up the push of the crowd surging for the doorway. On motor ways, traffic is routinely slowed to 60, 50 and then 40 across all lanes before gradually speeding up again. This puts everybody on a level playing field which avoids jams and crawling traffic and again, as a collective of vehicles, they reach their destinations quicker.
I find this information fascinating from an interior design point of view and believe there are many alternative still to explore to enhance the user experience.