Saint John — The much-anticipated new City Market escalators promised for June 2016 are about to open right on schedule for August, though many who have seen the new device are disappointed.
“It only goes up,” local resident June Angstrom told our reporter. Angstrom claims to have bad knees from scrubbing the hardwood floors of the Saint John rich and famous. “Some of us have to go down easily!” she exclaimed.
For those who have not yet seen the new escalator, it is only a single set of moving steps.
Saint John Mayor Don Darling said city residents shouldn’t jump to conclusions. “It goes both up and down, just like our budget,” he explained. “This is one of those new, high-tech escalators.”
According to engineer Ernie Mowat, “If there is nobody standing on it, it will not waste precious Irving-generated electricity. When somebody steps on it, its sensors will detect which end was stepped on and move accordingly.
“If the rider changes their mind, all they need to do is give a simple voice command: ‘change direction,’ ‘move up’ or ‘go down,'” Mowat went on. “To prevent external disturbances, it will only recognize the loudest voice and is enclosed in walls. If someone else wants to change the escalator’s direction, they need to yell twice as loud.”
Initial testing by civic recruits Mayor Darling and councillors Gary Sullivan and Donna Reardon resulted in a complete stall. This reporter heard a cacophony of “git er up”s and “go down on me”s from the chamber members huddled together on the same step.
Mowat agreed that more testing needs to be done and, “Maybe we shoulda oiled it first.”