By now, we’re probably all guilty of walking on the street buried in cell phones texting, emailing, browsing the Web or looking at social media. Some may have even bumped into people not paying attention to other people on the walkway. It could get dicey. Imagine this happening in a place as heavily populated as China. With so many people on the street, a few not paying attention on their cell phones could work out the same way as someone texting and driving on the road. The always innovative Chinese have introduced a possible remedy.
In Chinese theme park, Yangren Jie, (or “Foreigner Street”) in the city of Chongqing, planners have implemented a 50-meter “no cell phone” walkway.The walkway includes signage directing people whether they can or can’t use their phones. One of the signs reads, “Cell phones, walk in this lane at your own risk,” for example. The idea is a lot like an episode of National Geographic’s “Mind Over Masses” when a cell phone lane was set up in Washington, DC to test how well people followed directions. In the end, people didn’t really care whether they were in a cell phone lane or not.
The creators of China’s first sidewalks for cell phones did it to show people “it is best not to play with your phone while walking.” Could this idea expand? It’s not certain. It’d be better if people just stay aware of themselves and their surroundings so that everything moves along smoothly. You never know though.