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Japanese City Bans Walking on Escalators

When you use an escalator in a busy train station, you've probably noticed that some people stand to one side to allow others to move quickly. This happens worldwide, but the Japanese city of Nagoya has decided to change this.

In Nagoya, they want everyone to stop walking on escalators and stand on both sides. This applies to places like train stations, office buildings, and shopping centers. The city has been promoting this idea for nearly 20 years.

People won't face fines for walking on escalators, but the city hopes everyone will follow the new rule to prevent accidents. From January 2018 to December 2019, there were 805 escalator incidents due to "poor riding practices," including falls and people walking the wrong way.

This change aims to make escalators safer, especially for the elderly and people with disabilities.

Many people followed the rule at first, but after a year, in October 2022, about 61% of people were still walking on escalators — almost the same as in October 2021. Nagoya is the second place in Japan to try this, following Saitama prefecture's similar rule introduced in October 2021, which had mixed results.

Part 2: Vocabulary Words and Definitions

  1. Ordinance: A law or regulation set by a city or local government.

  2. Comply: To follow or adhere to rules or regulations.

  3. Incident: An event or occurrence, often involving a problem or accident.

  4. Elderly: People who are old, especially those above a certain age.

  5. Mixed Results: Outcomes that are a combination of both positive and negative results.

  6. Promoting: Encouraging or supporting a particular idea or action.

  7. Fines: Money that people have to pay as a penalty for breaking a rule or law.

  8. Prevent: To stop something from happening or avoid it.

  9. Practices: Actions or behaviors that are commonly done in a particular way.

  10. Disabilities: Conditions that limit a person's physical or mental abilities.

Part 3: Questions from the Text

  1. What is the new ordinance in Nagoya related to escalators?

  2. Why has Nagoya been encouraging people to stand still on escalators for nearly 20 years?

  3. How many escalator incidents related to "poor riding practices" were reported between January 2018 and December 2019, according to the Japan Elevator Association?

  4. Why is the new ordinance aimed at making escalators safer important?

  5. What happened in Nagoya after one year of trying to implement this rule, and how does it compare to Saitama prefecture's experience with a similar rule?


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