Why take an escalator to the twentieth floor when you can just run up the stairs? New York mayor Michael Bloomberg wants all new buildings and renovated buildings to start making it easier for people to take the stairs:
The Order also requires that agencies assess opportunities to promote the use of stairways, and that agencies train design and construction personnel in the use of the City’s Active Design Guidelines. …
Additionally, the Bloomberg Administration plans to submit for City Council approval two items of legislation to promote access to stairways in all new construction and buildings undergoing major renovations in New York City. The first bill requires that building owners give occupants access to at least one, clearly identified stairway in the building; and post signs that prompt stair use near elevators. The second bill increases access to and the visibility of stairways by permitting the use of hold-open devices in the doors of one stairway per building, for a maximum of three consecutive floors
The reason for this, naturally, is to prevent obesity, which Bloomberg seems to see as the crucial role of government.
It’s a bit of a strange order (not only because it’s the rare person who’s going to go up ten-plus flights of stairs), but also because New Yorkers already take stairs regularly, between the subway (there are virtually no escalators in the subways, unlike D.C.’s metros) and the amount of people who live in walk-ups (residential buildings that don’t have an escalator).