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Skip the Stairs, Take the Slide, says Dutch Train Station

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In America, this would be a tort claim waiting to happen.

For the Dutch, it's just the new best way  to catch your train in a pinch.

They're calling it a “transfer accelerator,” but transit authorities in Utrecht, the Netherlands, have just installed a playground-style slide for commuters in too big a hurry for the stairs.

“It makes people smile,” Utrecht-based scribe Simon de Wilde notes on his blog, Village pump Overvecht (that title is Google's rough translation from the Dutch.)

Well, count us among the smiling. The slide is not only faster than a down escalator, it's energy-neutral and cheap to install. Plus, while Americans (lawyers – *cough*) might see nothing but a personal-injury lawsuit here, it actually could improve safety, filtering slow walkers from passengers in a rush.

Why do the elderly fall and break their bones on the subway stairs? Because some psycho barreled past them to avoid waiting seven minutes for the next train, that's why. With a slide at every metro station, the frenzied and the fearless would be segregated from the sluggish and the frail.

Of course, Americans don't sue twitchy bike messengers for brushing against them, causing a spill. They sue municipalities and other big targets, for providing a cool amenity -- like a slide, or a diving board  -- on which they've discovered some way to injure themselves.

If we're too litigious and/or klutzy to keep jungle gyms in our kids' playgrounds, there's no way we're going to bring the playground to adults' public transit facilities.

And that, citizens, is why we can't have nice things. Watch the video below to see the fun we're missing out on.


And some additional views:

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For more photos, click here.
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