Photo (cc) by Matthew Kenwrick
A city in China has a pedestrian slow lane specifically for people who want to use their cellphone while walking.
According to Newsweek, a walking path was divided in two to set up a cellphone-only lane in Chongqing, a city of 28 million people in southwest China. Signs and painted street markings direct walkers to the 165-foot-long phone lane.
If you’re shaking your head in confusion, you’re not alone. Newsweek said:
The point of this remains elusive. Is it public safety? How a dedicated walking lane — for people with their heads down preoccupied with their phones — makes anyone safer is a little fuzzy.
Nong Cheng, an official with Meixin Group, which created the path, said the sidewalk is meant to be ironic and remind people that texting and walking is unsafe. According to the Associated Press:
She said that pedestrians were not taking the new lanes seriously, but that many were snapping pictures of the signs and sidewalk.
“Those using their cellphones of course have not heeded the markings on the pavement,” she said. “They don’t notice them.”
Nong told the AP that the sidewalk idea came from a National Geographic TV show that featured a similar sidewalk as part of a behavior experiment in Washington, D.C.
Apple is looking into a transparent texting feature that would allow an iPhone’s rear-facing camera to capture live video images of the scene in front of users and display them in the background of the text box so people can more safely text and walk.
I am a multitasker and I love to text, but I think texting while walking is a recipe for disaster. Also, it’s just plain annoying. So a special Apple phone feature for texting walkers seems ridiculous and unsafe, but maybe that’s just me. I can appreciate the irony in the phone-only sidewalk in China.
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