A Chinese City Has a Bizarre Way to Deal With Pedestrians on Their Cell Phones

Source: News.cn

Mobile phone lanes.

Chongqing, a city in Southwest China, has utilized mobile phone lanes — similar to bike or taxi lanes — so that its phone-addicted citizens can walk around without fear of crashing into other pedestrians or cars. 

Specialized transportation lanes are common in many cities, and this appears to be the trend's newest frontier. Engadget reports that the lanes can be found on Foreigner Street, and as the photo below appears to depict, they're the first mobile phone sidewalks in China.

To be clear however, the new signage only appears on a 164-foot walkway in an area of the city known as "Foreigner Street." But it will still potentially serve as a test to determine the feasibility of a more extended network of the marked-up sidewalks.

Additionally, the idea has been tested in limited circumstances before. Earlier this year, Washington, D.C. tested out a similar set-up, but only maintained the border lines for about a day.

This might actually be a good idea. Remember the teenager who fell down a manhole because she was texting? Or the woman who walked straight into a fountain while on her phone? There was also the fellow who narrowly avoided becoming bear food, and the woman who walked straight off a pier because she was too busy rebooking an appointment on her phone.

People are constantly on their phones, and it sometimes comes at their own — or others' — expense. So maybe these mobile phone lanes are a good investment.

Then again, maybe not. It's a sad reflection of just how mobile phone-obsessed our society has become that we now need separate walking lanes just to accommodate our cellular love affairs. Plus, as Engadget points out, National Geographic pulled a similar stunt in July, and it was an utter failure; the people on cell phones mostly ignored the signs because they were — surprise! — too busy staring at their screens. 

It remains to be seen whether the idea will make its way over to America any time soon, and maybe that's a good thing. Until then, we can stick to angrily cursing at those cell phone walkers.

h/t Engadget

Correction: Sept. 15, 2014
An earlier version of this article neglected to identify the limited scope of the cell-phone sidewalks in Chongqing and implied that this was entirely new idea; it had been tested earlier this year in Washington, D.C.

How likely are you to make Mic your go-to news source?

Sophie Kleeman

Sophie is a staff writer at Mic covering the intersection of tech and culture. She's based in New York and can be reached at sophie@mic.com.

MORE FROM

Will Justice Anthony Kennedy retire at end of Supreme Court term? Here's what we know.

Rumors that the 80-year-old swing justice may leave the bench are fueling fear of a second Trump pick on the nation's high court.

3 states and D.C. allow same flammable building materials behind Grenfell Tower fire

The causes of London's Grenfell Tower are similar to the justifications used to waive fire regulations in the U.S.

New Jersey bill would require kids to be taught how to interact with police

Students from kindergarten through 12th grade would receive the education.

UK Parliament hit with cyberattack

Members of Parliament had difficulty accessing their emails Saturday in the wake of the attack.

Istanbul LGBT pride march banned by government for safety concerns

A right-wing nationalist group has vowed to stop the protest.

Compounds seized by US in December reportedly contained material useful in Russia probe

The Trump administration has reportedly been considering returning the New York and Maryland compounds to Russia.

Will Justice Anthony Kennedy retire at end of Supreme Court term? Here's what we know.

Rumors that the 80-year-old swing justice may leave the bench are fueling fear of a second Trump pick on the nation's high court.

3 states and D.C. allow same flammable building materials behind Grenfell Tower fire

The causes of London's Grenfell Tower are similar to the justifications used to waive fire regulations in the U.S.

New Jersey bill would require kids to be taught how to interact with police

Students from kindergarten through 12th grade would receive the education.

UK Parliament hit with cyberattack

Members of Parliament had difficulty accessing their emails Saturday in the wake of the attack.

Istanbul LGBT pride march banned by government for safety concerns

A right-wing nationalist group has vowed to stop the protest.

Compounds seized by US in December reportedly contained material useful in Russia probe

The Trump administration has reportedly been considering returning the New York and Maryland compounds to Russia.