Have you tried being behind a person who constantly has their head down and pecking on their phone? Or maybe you’re the person in question?
Sometimes, they do move along … yet slowly. Other times, they seem to stop just right in the middle of the street causing you to bump into them. It’s totally not fun, right?
Well, in Chongqing, China, they think that these kinds of avid cellphone users need their own lane. Some places put up bicycle lanes, but in these Chinese cities, cellphone users are given preference.
In Chongqing, one of the busiest streets was divided into two sections: one for those who use cellphones and the other for those who don’t. This special sidewalk in the southwestern portion of China measures fifty meters long and three meters wide. Warning signs are painted in white on the ground to mark.
Long Cheng, a spokesperson for the developer who birthed the idea of dividing a sidewalk, mentioned that the sidewalk lanes served as a reminder for tourists not to walk while playing with their cellphones. Cheng said, “It’s an unsafe gesture with potential safety hazards.”
Well, walking anywhere while being glued to your screen isn’t the best thing to do. In December last year, a Taiwanese woman who was walking along St Kilda pier near Melbourne fell into waters of Port Philip Bay after being distracted by her Facebook feed.
The sidewalk in China, which is called “yangrenjie” (foreigners street), is a popular tourist attraction thanks to its faux Western architecture as well as an amusement park.
The developers got the idea from an experiment in Washington DC and there are no plans to try this out in other parts of the city.
Not every pedestrian seemed to like the idea of this specialized sidewalk. According to Xing Xing, as told to China Daily, the sidewalk is not a solution and may end up being an indulgence for those addicted to their mobile phones leading to more problems in the future.
That statement could somewhat be verified as China is expected to have more than 500 million smartphone users in 2014.