City In China Introduces Slow Lane For Texting Pedestrians

As annoying as it is to walk behind someone blindly stumbling forward while texting on their mobile device, the very idea of a slow lane designated just for that bumbling purpose might very well be even more annoying. But that’s kind of the point of a new texting lane one city in China introduced recently.

Upon hearing the news that the city of Chongqing split a pedestrian path in two — for normal walkers who aren’t on the phone and another for those who feel the need to text while strolling “at their own risk” while strolling — one might think that’s just playing right into those careless walkers’ game. Heck, might as well give them a corral to mill around in if they need to be moving and texting.

That’s the message, says the property manager for the company that covers the area in the entertainment zone where the split sidewalk has been installed. It’s where tourists go, see, so the whole thing is meant to be ironic and drive home the point that texting while walking is unsafe.

“There are lots of elderly people and children in our street, and walking with your cellphone may cause unnecessary collisions here,” she explained to the Associated Press.

She got the idea from a similar installation in Washington D.C., sponsored by National Geographic Television this past summer as part of an experiment meant to call to attention to that kind of bad behavior.

Instead of using the lanes for their expressed purposes, however, the manager says people are stopping to take pictures of the novel arrangement… which just ends up creating more congestion. And the people targeted by the texting lane? They’re too busy looking down at their phones to know it exists.

City creates sidewalk lane for texting [Associated Press]