Sometimes the smallest changes affect behavior in a big way. Designer Yoni Alter is trying to do that with subway escalators, where it’s hard to get people to stand on the right and walk on the left.

Photo by Yoni Alter.

Alter, who lives in London, suggested this to Transport For London, and they’re trying it out. Though in responses to this tweet, people pointed out it won’t work when the escalator goes one way in the morning rush and the other way in the evening, as many do.

Another obstacle to trying this in DC: Metro doesn’t officially recommend walking on one side of the escalator, as the absolute safest thing to do is stand on the escalator and hold the handrail. (Though the even safer thing to do is just to stay in your house all day and never move, and Metro doesn’t recommend that.)

But, We Love DC reported that US safety codes forbid signs on the escalator. Does it forbid painted footsteps? If not, maybe this is a great solution.

David Alpert is Founder and President of Greater Greater Washington and Executive Director of DC Sustainable Transportation (DCST). He worked as a Product Manager for Google for six years and has lived in the Boston, San Francisco, and New York metro areas in addition to Washington, DC. He lives with his wife and two children in Dupont Circle. Unless otherwise noted, opinions in his GGWash posts are his and not the official views of GGWash or DCST.