Mobile Devices

Best Idea Ever: A Walkway for Smartphone-Addicted Pedestrians

Former Staff Writer
2 min read

Any pedestrian who’s ever been smacked head-on -- or trapped maddeningly behind -- a fellow commuter with her attention buried deep in a smartphone screen may dream of future walkways modeled after the Chinese city of Chongqing.

There, reports Engadget, a sidewalk has been divided into two lanes -- one for those with cellphones, and one for those without.

While the concept may seem gloriously prescient, it is not necessarily new. National Geographic held an identical experiment on a Washington, D.C., sidewalk in July, which hilariously concluded that smartphone users were too absorbed by their devices to even remark that different lanes had been set up at all.

Related: Go Big or Go Home: Apple Officially Unveils iPhone 6 With Larger Displays

This fact is hardly surprising given that distracted commuters have alternately walked into walls, tumbled into mall water fountains and even collided with wild bears -- all while glued to their phones.

While demarcations might tamper such mishaps, Quartz says the Chinese walkway is a bit of a special case. Though Chongqing is one of China’s largest cities, the marked pavement -- which stretches just 164 feet, according to the site -- is actually located within a foreign-themed theme park called Yangren Jie.

Still, one can only dream that if such experimentations are kicking off now across the globe, they may one day find their way into the cityscapes of tomorrow.

Related: Smartphone or Sex: Which Would You Rather Give Up? (Infographic)

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