City Creates Sidewalk Lane for Texting While Walking

But Chinese city says move is meant to be ironic
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 15, 2014 9:18 AM CDT
City Creates Sidewalk Lane for Texting While Walking
In this photo taken Sept. 13, 2014, residents walk on a lane painted with instructions to separate those using their phones as they walk from others in southwest China's Chongqing Municipality.   (Uncredited)

Taking a cue from an American experiment, the Chinese city of Chongqing has created a smartphone sidewalk lane, offering a path for those too engrossed in messaging and tweeting to watch where they're going. But it's apparently intended to be ironic—to remind people that it's dangerous to tweet while walking the street. "There are lots of elderly people and children in our street, and walking with your cellphone may cause unnecessary collisions here," said Nong Cheng, the marketing official with Meixin Group, which manages the area in the city's entertainment zone.

Meixin has marked a 165-foot stretch of pavement with two lanes: one that prohibits cellphone use next to one that allows pedestrians to use them—at their "own risk." Nong said the idea came from a similar stretch of pavement in Washington, DC, created by National Geographic Television in July as part of a behavior experiment. There's just one problem, she says: "Those using their cellphones of course have not heeded the markings on the pavement. They don't notice them." (More texting stories.)

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