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#18. Moving Walkways

Neon Walkway at O'Hare - Warm FlavorYou know what sucks?

Walking.

It is slow. It makes your feet hurt. And it is particularly unpleasant if it is hot or cold outside.

By any measure, walking is the worst form of transportation available.* But due to technological constraints and economics (horses are rather expensive), walking was the primary form of transportation for most of human history.

One of the cornerstones of the American Character is a determination to improve life through technology. This is why for the past one hundred years, American engineers have been on a constant quest to develop alternatives to walking. In 1900, the Wright brothers invented the airplane; Henry Ford developed the first mass-produced automobile in 1908; and in 2001, Dean Kamen developed the Segway Personal Transporter.

But despite the fact that we Americans can fly across the country in comfort, drive carts on the golf course and have structured our entire urban fabric around the automobile, there are still some places where walking is unavoidable.

Fortunately, that is where the Moving Walkway, or Moving Sidewalk, comes in.

First introduced in 1893 at the World’s Columbian Expedition in Chicago, the moving walkway has revolutionized the way we move through large, car-unfriendly, places. Today, moving walkways of various sizes are alleviating the pain of people forced to walk long distances in malls, airports and train stations.

Walt Disney World has even installed a moving walkway on the Pirates of The Caribbean ride, in order to ease and speed travel between the exit of the ride and the gift shop.

God Bless America!

*To be fair, running is probably worse.

Previous topics mentioned in this post:

#2. Drive-Thrus

#4. Down Escalators

#9. Automatic Transmissions

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3 Comments

  1. Frank says:

    Of your 26 greatest things about America 10 of them are for fat lazy people such as yourself. Just cos something is made easier doesn’t mean its better. Go and eat all the 5dollar pizzas you can afford us Europeans will stay with our original food traditions and LONG UNNECESSARY ways of doing things according to LAZY AMERICANS. I think someone is forgetting how he managed to get to America maybe on a ship from an original country thats maybe not ashamed of most of its past. Greatest things about Europe no particular order, 1 18 or less drinking age, 2 Different size and colour notes, 3 no stupid laws such as a law in California requiring people to wear shoes of a certain size and not allowed to eat ice cream in public, 4 most people are care free, 5 ORIGINAL TRADITIONS from countries that have got history, 6 that anybody any age can buy a cell phone and use it instantly without being tied down to a contract, 7 our football is the most popular in the world, 8 most countries in the world like Europeans compared to most hating Americans, 9 most people who live within the city limits can walk to most places, 10 unlike Americans Europeans actually care about the world and don’t drive big stupid cars, trucks that just about fit on the road, 11 Most Europeans education is much higher than Americans, 12 Being drunk in public is not a problem

  2. […] ***Note: I considered inserting paragraph breaks for readability, but decided that doing so would detract from the author’s original meaning*** Frank — March 18, 2010 at 11:58 PM […]

  3. John Doe says:

    More fat people… And by the way, Wright’s didn’t invent the airplane.

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