New DC tourism ad causes stir by saying it’s OK to stand on left side of Metro escalators

D.C. locals will tell you it's common knowledge to "walk left, stand right" while riding on Metro escalators.

But a new ad from the city's tourism department says it's OK to "live a little" and ride the escalators like a tourist would – however you want!

The 30 second video, posted to Destination DC's Twitter page, shows a man and a woman -- standing across both sides of a Metro escalator – lost in conversation while a man behind them -- anxious to get by -- gets more and more agitated that they're blocking the way. "Oh my God, you've got to be kidding me!" he says.

"Be an Escaleftor," the tweet's caption reads. They describe an "Escaleftor" a couple of different ways. It can be – as the video says -- a "person who rides on the left side of the Metro escalator in Washington, D.C." – a "guy who doesn't care it's common courtesy to walk left, stand right" – or as a "dude who is so relaxed, he loses all spatial awareness."

"Don't be that guy," the video reads with a red arrow pointing to the frustrated man trying to get past the couple. "Be an Escaleftor."

Twitter reacted pretty much the way you would expect. The first comment under the video read, "Why would you do this?"

"Just trying to encourage locals to get in a tourist state of mind and explore their own backyards!" Destination DC responded. (VOTE NOW! mobile users)

We spoke with people riding the escalator at the Dupont Circle Metro station who gave us a mixed reaction. One person told us that getting around riders who go against the "walk left, stand right" standard is just a minor inconvenience.

Another told FOX 5's Bob Bernard that he is originally from New York where no rules on where to stand on transit escalators exist. He said that now-- since he's grown used to the "walk left, stand right" practice in D.C. -- it really bothers him when someone breaks the unwritten rule.