Mindf*ck: they switched the escalators in the Capitol Hill Station. pic.twitter.com/LNMvB5bJM9
— Sarah Studer (@sarahstood) July 4, 2016
Light rail travelers at Capitol Hill Station over the holiday weekend had to do a double-take — or worse:
Capitol Hill train station escalators going the opposite way today, almost sprinted down the wrong way #greatdesign
— Rich Zarick (@RichInTheSnow) July 4, 2016
Riders were surprised to find the “up” escalator was suddenly the “down” escalator — vice versa.
Sound Transit cleared up the mini mystery Tuesday morning. The reversal will be a periodic event sure to enter the lore of Capitol Hill existence like a new kind of solstice or equally wondrous celestial event. The switch is about maintenance, Sound Transit says:
@YankeeSpice We switch up directions so that the escalators wear evenly.
— Sound Transit (@SoundTransit) July 5, 2016
“If you only run an escalator one direction it can get so it only runs that direction and will wear out faster,” the agency explains. Life lesson. And a new event for light rail fans to celebrate — and watch out for before making their next escalator sprint.
UPDATE 7/6/2016: Oops. Now Sound Transit has reversed the reversal:
@jseattle This is all part of our subtle new "mindfulness" campaign. Be aware. Be in the moment. Look up.
— Sound Transit (@SoundTransit) July 6, 2016
UPDATE 7/11/2016: It sounds like you had better not get accustomed to escalator directions at CHS or UW Station — Sound Transit says the plan is for the up/down status to be “swapped back and forth” as needed.