In his ongoing campaign to be the most Hatingest Fat Hater in All the Land, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is now telling people to take the stairs:
First he came after the cigarettes. Then the trans-fats. Then the super-sized drinks. Now, Mayor Michael Bloomberg is coming after the elevators.Because fat people are just stupid and lazy and don't know what's in our own best interests. Blah blah fart yawn.
City officials announced a new initiative this afternoon aimed at encouraging office workers to take the stairs instead of waiting for the elevator. Under legislation proposed by the mayor, all new buildings and buildings undergoing major renovation would be required to give occupants access to at least one stairwell, as well as post signs near elevators pointing to nearby stairs.
Another bill would increase the visibility of stairwells by permitting the use of hold-open devices on doors that would close automatically in case of an emergency.
...Mr. Bloomberg, who said he personally almost always uses the stairs–and doesn't stand still when he's on an escalator–said that part of the challenge was to make being active hipper for young people across the city.
"What we've got to do is just make it cool–if you will–or socially more the norm to exercise, and that's what you see here," he explained. "The whole idea is not to change what you have to do, but to give you the idea and the impetus to do something that is in your best interest."
This is an extra mega awesome idea for people with invisible disabilities who can't take the stairs, or as many stairs as required to get to a higher floor, but now face the possibility of being shamed as lazy for not making use of the Supercool Stair Initiative, unless they want to disclose their disability to coworkers.
My favorite thing about this proposal, however, is that Bloomberg is an aficionado of the "fat people cost us so much money" rationale for public shaming campaigns, but one of the primary reasons stairwells are kept closed in high rises is because cooling and heating stairwells is expensive. Depending on the size of the building, and the number of stairwells, and the efficiency of the HVAC system, etc., cooling a stairwell to the same temp as the rest of the public spaces can increase costs by 25%. That is a hell of a lot of money, multiplied across a hell of a lot of buildings.
And then there's this: Keeping stairwells closed except for emergencies is a safety issue. Keeping stairwell doors locked from the stairwell side, but not from the office side, allows people who need to access the stairs for emergencies to do so, while restricting access to thieves and predators. It can be super annoying when you work in a highrise for a company with multiple floors to have to use the elevator to run one floor up or down, but it protects people and assets.
Does Mayor Bloomberg expect companies to provide private security for their employees and office space that a locked stairwell did for free? Or is he just willing to skip on the security for people and private property, as long as fatties take the stairs?
Mr. Mayor, you do not have my permission to use my body to enact initiatives that compromise people's safety, because you believe I'm too fucking stupid to take care of myself.