Texting while walking could be an accident waiting to happen, but one Chinese city is embracing its phone-obsessed pedestrians.
In northern China’s city of Xi’an, a pavement on Yanta Road has a 100-meter long, 80-centimeter wide lane dedicated to pedestrians using their phones. An image of a mobile phone is painted along the lane to indicate where phone users can stay.
A shopping mall had the specific lane in the works for a month, according to a report by Shaanxi Online News via BBC. It was to address the constant need of security personnel to remind motorists not to drive on the pavement which would have pedestrians fixed on their phones.
While some citizens interviewed in the report welcomed the project, some expressed their opinion that it wasn’t useful, because the lanes were near a parking lot rather than a major thoroughfare.
This isn’t the first city in China to implement such a scheme. In 2014, a private company divided a pavement into two parts in Chonqing: one for smartphone junkies and one for ordinary pedestrians.
The company, Meixin, intended for it to make people consider the amount of time they spent on their smartphones. However, the initiative has become a tourist attraction and has caused some congestion as people stop to snap photos of the signs — hopefully, while on the phone lane. Niña V. Guno/JB
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