Okay, I acknowledge that I am peculiarly neurotic about not wanting to stand in the flow of any foot traffic. (I was regularly bullied and picked on as a child, and once I was deliberately knocked down and trampled on by about 15 or 20 other children going the other way down a school hallway; it was one of the scariest things that has ever happened to me, and to this day, seeing that I’m in the way of a flow of people can bring on flashbacks to the terror I felt.)
But even allowing for the fact that I know I am hypersensitive about this and do not expect others to participate in my phobia, still, what on earth are you people thinking when you decide that smack in front of the bottom step of that stairway is a fine place to stop and have a conversation with your companion or check your Blackberry or make a call on your cell phone??? Seems like I have been having to say excuse me please to you folks two or three times a month for just about ever. Often, when that stairway is in fact a crowded down escalator and you have stopped at the bottom just a foot or so in front of me, I have been inexorably propelled into you from behind. And yet you keep stopping there. Why have you not figured out by now that when you reach the bottom of the stairs you need to walk forward a few more feet before you stop???
My untrained-in-sociology eye says that there is probably a pattern in this piece of behavior. I’ve also noticed physical sidewalk traffic bottlenecks usually attract a conversation.
It wants research, and a million dollars (hah!) says no grant would be issued to study it, although studies have been done on weirder things.