Seriously, have you ever seen anybody this unable to cope with an automatic revolving door?

Cidu Bill on Mar 12th 2017


Filed in Barney & Clyde, Bill Bickel, comic strips, comics, humor | 44 responses so far

44 Responses to “Seriously, have you ever seen anybody this unable to cope with an automatic revolving door?”

  1. larK Mar 12th 2017 at 06:49 pm 1

    He’s comically exaggerating, but I’ve seen it. But due to more frequent encounters, I’ve seen a whole lot of people that unable to cope with escalators. They panic and can’t step on, blocking everyone behind them as they keep trying to time their step and then abandoning the step at the last minute, hoping somehow that maybe the escalator will stop. Getting off is even worse, and I’ve actually seen people cause a domino fall down at the end because they run away from the end, causing the people behind them on the escalator to fall; but more common is just not stepping away after they get off, not leaving room for the conveyor belt of people who keep coming like clockwork… This is escalators, a technology that has been around for the entire lifetime of everyone now alive.

  2. Boise Ed Mar 12th 2017 at 07:10 pm 2

    No, nor have I seen a revolving door with only two spaces.

  3. Captain Tact Mar 12th 2017 at 07:34 pm 3

    It has four, it’s just caing head-on. Think + instead of x

  4. Captain Tact Mar 12th 2017 at 07:34 pm 4

    Egad! FACING head-on

  5. James Pollock Mar 12th 2017 at 07:51 pm 5

    “No, nor have I seen a revolving door with only two spaces.”

    Portland International Airport has had automatic revolving doors with only two spaces for a couple of decades, and yes, they DO catch people by surprise, because if nobody is in or near them, they don’t revolve. They start and stop without any visual or auditory cues.

    Here is the only picture I could find, although it’s not very clear. The door is like a revolving round letter H. When it’s closed, the solid sides of the H align with the inside and outside openings. It revolves to expose the open “top” and “bottom” of the H alight with the inside and outside openings. This allows plenty of space for large groups or families encumbered by large amounts of luggage and/or small children to enter together… if they’re paying attention.

    My reading of the cartoon, however, is that the revolving door in the cartoon actually has four quadrants, not two halves.

  6. Ian D Osmond Mar 12th 2017 at 08:43 pm 6

    … yes… me. I’ve been known to walk into the bit in front of me, because I’m walking too fast, and also to be smacked in the butt because I’m walking too slow.

    To be fair, I am just generally slightly afraid of revolving doors, automated or not, in general, so I’m particularly ill-suited to dealing with the things.

  7. Catlover Mar 12th 2017 at 09:36 pm 7

    Yes. And some talk to you with sass, telling you tomove forward but then suddenly stopping.

  8. Cidu Bill Mar 12th 2017 at 09:49 pm 8

    LarK (1), I just read a book in which somebody is killed quite graphically by a sabotaged escalator.

    You should probably avoid it.

  9. MikeD Mar 12th 2017 at 09:57 pm 9

    At the hospital in our town, the revolving doors have two spaces, large enough to push a person in a wheelchair. From the top, the rotating door would look somewhat like a letter “S”. There are proximity sensors front and back, so if you step to close to the “wall” panel in front of you, or the person(s) on the other side are too close front or back, it immediately stops, and it takes quick reflexes to keep from looking like the two men on the left side of the door - plastered against a wall that until just now was moving away from you as you walked forward.

  10. larK Mar 12th 2017 at 10:09 pm 10

    Bill @ 8: the escalator or the book?

  11. Cidu Bill Mar 12th 2017 at 10:17 pm 11

    Both, I’d think.

  12. larK Mar 12th 2017 at 10:46 pm 12

    Well, the avoiding the escalator is more or less self evident; avoiding the book is slightly less so: should I avoid it because it might change my perspective such that I have more sympathy for those idiots in the world who haven’t mastered the art of riding an escalator?

    We’re all riding the Escalator of Life.

  13. Pete Mar 12th 2017 at 11:07 pm 13

    This is the third time recently that CIDU has posted a Barney & Clyde that I haven’t seen. I read the one on GoComics. But I can’t find this one there, nor these two:

    Where are you getting these from?

  14. Cidu Bill Mar 12th 2017 at 11:23 pm 14

    Pete, I was looking at some old comics.

  15. Proginoskes Mar 13th 2017 at 03:29 am 15

    @ CIDU BILL [8]: There’s an old James Bond movie where automatic doors cut one of the spies in half.

  16. Kilby Mar 13th 2017 at 04:56 am 16

    If you think escalators and revolving doors are tricky, you should try the (archaic) “Pater Noster” elevators that are still sometimes found in (old) German government buildings. The article claims that the name relates to beads on a Rosary, but I’ve been told that it’s because of the subconscious need to pray when boarding or exiting them.

  17. DemetriosX Mar 13th 2017 at 07:45 am 17

    Automatic revolving doors are hardly new technology. Haven’t they been around for decades? My only problem with them is that they’re usually too slow for me.

  18. Powers Mar 13th 2017 at 08:24 am 18

    Okay, but we’re agreed on the faucets, right?

  19. Daniel J. Drazen Mar 13th 2017 at 09:28 am 19

    The title reminds me of the Japan Times cartoon showing a sumo wrestler and a Santa Claus who between the two of them get a revolving door jammed.

  20. Fuzzmaster Mar 13th 2017 at 09:36 am 20

    I don’t get the faucet one. They can be hard to trigger, but why can’t he fit both hands underneath?

  21. Mitch4 Mar 13th 2017 at 10:06 am 21

    Fuzzmaster, the problem is how often the timer valve mechanism is broken, so the water flows only while the button is being pushed.

  22. Olivier Mar 13th 2017 at 11:17 am 22

    This stop-when-touched feature of revolving doors is convenient when faced with people who shove to get ahead.

  23. larK Mar 13th 2017 at 11:51 am 23

    Kilby @ 16: I remember riding one of those with my father! I was so young (4 years old or younger) the memory is unclear and often times I have questioned it because it seems like such an unlikely thing to exist, but there was a Meinzelmännchen skit with one of those in it that I saw at a much later date, so I knew when I saw it that I wasn’t dreaming this scary weird contraption…

  24. Keera Mar 13th 2017 at 01:41 pm 24

    Between the train platform and terminal at Oslo airport there are revolving doors with two spaces. Very nice when one is hauling a suitcase. And yes, I’ve seen people befuddled by revolving doors, trying to work out how many can go at once in the same space, with or without a suitcase, etc.

  25. Mary Ellen Mar 13th 2017 at 03:29 pm 25

    I also hate revolving doors, automatic or not. There’s a big automatic one at a combination furniture store/IMAX movie theater near my house that sometimes stops without warning, so you walk face-first into it. I hate that thing.

    There’s also nothing quite as awful as trying to time your step onto an escalator while having an ocular migraine. Not even a little bit fun.

  26. Christine Mar 13th 2017 at 05:23 pm 26

    larK - it’s not that we don’t understand the technology, or are unfamiliar with it (I agree, escalators have been around way longer than I have). It’s that I just have a really hard time with the timing for stepping on (off is no issue). The odd thing is that, as a child, I never had issues. This is bad enough that I will take the elevator if I have a small child with me (in my defense for the special case, falling is a bigger deal, my vision is blocked, and my centre of mass is shifted.)

  27. Meryl A Mar 14th 2017 at 02:42 am 27

    larK - as a child my mom would not take my cousin with us when we went to stores no matter how many times I asked. She said he was too wild and might get hurt. I always envisioned this as he would not properly get off the escalator and his shoes and toes would get stuck in the end of escalator.

    SIL (yes that one - she is my only SIL) will not go into any revolving door. She also will walk stairs if she can instead of the elevator as she is afraid of them also.

    When I went to Macys Manhattan store when in college,one of the escalators must have been an original. The steps on it were made of strips of wood - not the normal thiner metal cut to interlock with the other steps.

    Lastly, We were on vacation in (I think) Colonial Williamsburg (some years ago) there as a British woman and her daughter. They were having a problem with the automatic faucet. We struck up a conversation about it. She told me that it was so confusing here. Every sink she had encountered worked differently. At home, she told me, they all work the same with two handles that one turns.

  28. Ted from Ft. Laud Mar 14th 2017 at 04:02 am 28

    I’m not sure if Weingarten, et al., are complaining about the existence of automatic revolving doors and auto-stopping faucets, or just ones that don’t work well, but the phrasing implies the former. If so, it seems a pretty self-important view (as is not unusual for B&C) - these things don’t exist to make life happier for Weingarten and company, they exist for the building owner.

    The automatic faucet is to save water, because way too many people in public bathrooms can’t be bothered to turn off the water. The sensor-based ones avoid the one hand problem (though I rarely have the one hand problem with the mechanical/hydraulic ones - they usually stay on long enough for me) but they tend to be very touchy - getting them to go on at all is often tricky. Nonetheless, some form of faucet that automatically shuts off seems necessary.

    Revolving doors exist to save energy and in the case of revolving doors in skyscrapers, because “normal” doors wouldn’t work (well, at least would lead to major problems). Automatic ones are because some people can’t (or can’t be bothered to) push manual ones, or move them too slowly, impeding the flow of people. They aren’t that hard - you just walk and you’ll get through. (I guess I’ve gotten very crotchety in my old age - I tend to have little sympathy for people who can’t figure relatively straightforward things out and decide to stop the world while they try, especially when there is a lot of that world in line behind them. Don’t get me started on people who pick the busiest times to try to figure out how to work the self-checkout lanes at Home Depot or Costco, or seem to have never used a debit card in their lives before trying it in the POS terminal at the supermarket.) (And stay off my lawn!)

  29. Kilby Mar 14th 2017 at 04:44 am 29

    @ larK (23) - Just so that everyone else knows what we’re talking about, here’s a repaired link to the “Pater Noster” elevator (the article includes an animated illustration showing how the things work).

  30. Mitch4 Mar 14th 2017 at 10:18 am 30

    Thanks for the link … I thought that might be what you meant by the pater noster, but wasn’t sure.

    I’ve only seen these in use where they are not for general public, but just the specialized staff of some facility, like a multilevel parking garage. In some cases, the compartment is more open and less protected than as shown in the wp article– sometimes little more than circulating shelves!!

  31. Christine Mar 14th 2017 at 01:42 pm 31

    @Ted from Ft. Laud (28) - I’d assume that people moving too quickly (and pushing the door into the people in another compartment) are more of a concern for why you’d want automatic revolving doors.

    One difference between the doors & the faucets is that people are forced to use the faucets so user interface is a low priority, but if the doors don’t work well people will just use the conventional door next to it, and let all the building air out, making a poor user interface costly (and worse than no automation)

  32. Ted from Ft. Laud Mar 14th 2017 at 06:31 pm 32

    Most (all?) of the (non-automatic) revolving doors I’ve been in have governors that prevent them from rotating too fast, no matter how hard people push on them. No matter how (reasonably) slow that is, it is likely that it is still too fast for some people, especially those walking with some sort of assistance. Not sure what a good solution for that is - you can’t really pace things for the slowest possible user. As far as people using “conventional” doors in preference to revolving doors - that is generally an option in low-rise buildings (though I’ve been to several where I didn’t see a regular door nearby), and in that case, I assume the building management hopes that there is enough use of the revolving door to save at least some energy and reduce congestion. But in a skyscraper above a certain height (I don’t know how high), the chimney effect makes conventional doors impractical. So then it’s a matter of whether the automated or manual revolving door serves the needs better. I agree that bad design of this would be a big problem, and I assume there has been research into the best designs and ergonomics.

  33. James Pollock Mar 14th 2017 at 07:22 pm 33

    ” But in a skyscraper above a certain height (I don’t know how high), the chimney effect makes conventional doors impractical”

    I assume this is only true to the degree that the airpaces are contiguous.
    I worked in a skyscraper that had a loading dock big enough to drive two trucks into side-by-side, and an ordinary door between the inside of the building and the loading dock. On top of THAT floor was the parking level accessible to everyone, which had (obviously) openings to the outside big enough to drive in and out of. Not a revolving door in the building (although they did have “airlock” style double doors at the ground floor.)

  34. Ted from Ft. Laud Mar 14th 2017 at 09:09 pm 34

    Yes, any sort of arrangement that prevents free airflow is adequate. The main concern I believe would be a large open vaulted lobby (hence the “airlock” doors - either double or revolving - on the main entrance). Service type doors generally open to enclosed areas - most parking levels entrances I’m familiar with in very tall buildings (admittedly not many) also open into enclosed areas or antechambers - though as I remember one, it opened to a stairwell, which should be an issue - perhaps that building wasn’t tall enough to have a chimney airflow problem.

  35. Christine Mar 15th 2017 at 12:43 pm 35

    I’m working just from classes here, not from practice, but I don’t think that the open space is necessary for the stack effect. Nothing was mentioned to that effect when I studied it. Just as a logical check - it will exist in any stairwell tall enough for it to be a problem. If it exists in the stairwell & not in the building in general, then there will be a constant breeze through the stairwell doors, and the problems with the doors not closing properly will exist there. I can’t remember the height for the building either, although it’s definitely double-digit numbers of floors. It would be affected by the construction too - how airtight the building envelope is, how much opportunity there is for air to flow between the floors, etc.

    There are definitely buildings tall enough for it to be a problem with airlock doors instead of revolving ones. This is not necessarily a good design decision. (The prof who taught us about this in undergrad used “you know how the doors on tall buildings will often try to stay open?” to illustrate it. The fact that the air is drawn in, and the doors are required to open out means that you can get away with it unless there’s a really big effect though.)

  36. James Pollock Mar 15th 2017 at 12:51 pm 36

    Again… I worked in a 42-story building, where the loading dock was underground and open to the outside, and only a simple door separated the loading dock “outside” from the rest of the building “inside”.

  37. Christine Mar 17th 2017 at 10:24 am 37

    James Pollock - what kind of climate was this building in? In tropical areas the stack effect is reversed, so potentially there will be warm areas that don’t have much of it at all.

  38. Christine Mar 17th 2017 at 10:25 am 38

    The intro in gives what I think is a fairly good explanation (I don’t know how good it seems if you’re relatively unfamiliar with the concept though.)

  39. James Pollock Mar 17th 2017 at 11:56 am 39

    I was not in Dubai.

    Specifically, I was referring to the U.S. Bancorp Tower.

  40. Meryl A Mar 20th 2017 at 02:44 am 40

    Most,if not all, of the buildings I have been in which have revolving doors of any type also have regular doors near by with signs on them telling one not to use it and to use the revolving door instead - so the regular doors must work.

    One problem with the automatic water faucets is that one has, generally, no control over the temperature of the water. If it is too hot - one cannot make it cooler. If one has an injury and needs to put cold water on it - one cannot. It is often too hot for children. Then again, if the sink has not been used in some time, it may have cold water coming out and one has to stand there running the water until it gets warm enough. I have seen one here or there which has a temperature adjustment knob(handle) on it.

    Ted - glad someone else has trouble getting the auto faucets to turn on.

  41. James Pollock Mar 20th 2017 at 03:13 am 41

    “Most,if not all, of the buildings I have been in which have revolving doors of any type also have regular doors near by”


  42. Christine Mar 20th 2017 at 07:54 am 42

    James Pollock - I didn’t think that was the tower you’d been working in (it still had stack effect after all, just in the opposite direction). It was just that that report explained how stack effect reverses in tropical climates, which is why I’d been wondering if there was a neutral climate somewhere.

  43. Meryl A Mar 22nd 2017 at 02:36 am 43

    I mentioned same only because there must be some way to open the door in a tall skyscaper if there is one.

  44. Lola Mar 25th 2017 at 07:21 pm 44

    Kilby, I rode on one of those on a chemical/industrial park in or near Höchst. Everybody had to read some safety things and then take a test and couldn’t enter until you passed. The pater noster was really interesting.

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