China Opens Footpath Lane Just for Smartphone Walkers
Walk and tweet in your own lane.
Walking and Facebooking saves you time but severely angers fellow strutters you've meandered into with your nose in your status update. In a bold attempt to make the city's infrastructure suit the times (and save some pedestrian lives), the Chinese city of Chongqing has opened a dedicated lane for smartphone walkers, separate from their regular walking path.
Inspired by Washington D.C. — the smartphone-heavy capital worked with National Geographic's Mind Over Masses show to open the first version of the footpath in July — the design sees with one lane for smartphone using pedestrians (or 'phubbers', the technical term made for 'phone snubbers') and the other for people actually paying attention on their walk. Installed as another safety experiment for NatGeo, the 'Foreigner Street' lane is drawing attention to the high risk texting pedestrians pose to themselves and their fellow commuters.
Australian cities could benefit from this not-so-ridiculous-sounding idea, with smartphones and tablets increasingly discovered as causing a significant number of pedestrian injuries and deaths around the country. After the Pedestrian Council of Australia conducted spot tests in specific Sydney areas, they found one in ten pedestrians were using their mobile while wandering — sometimes not even looking up. You've done it. We've done it. This woman did it.
Published on September 15, 2014 by Shannon Connellan