In countries where people commute a lot e.g. South Korea, Singapore, Thailand, etc. often you’ll find pedestrians texting while sitting, texting while standing, and texting while walking. While it’s not advisable to do so (because how embarrassing is it to miss a stop or worse, walk into a pole?), it hasn’t really stopped anyone from behaving like they need to have their phones surgically removed from the palms.
It’s a necessity, it’s an addiction. More often than not, it manifests into a social problem.
In China, however, they’ve found a way to solve the “path obstructers” and “slow walkers” problem with a unique pedestrian management solution.
The city of Chongqing recently unveiled an idea that will make you wonder, “Why didn’t I think of that?!” – a smartphone lane for pedestrians. The lane is a walkway in a Chinese theme park called “Yangren Jie”, which directly translates into “Foreigner Street”. Stretching 100 feet, the walkway bears a large signage in both Chinese and English that warns pedestrians to walk in the designated lane.
— CCTVNEWS (@cctvnews) September 13, 2014
One says, “Cell phones, walk in this lane at your own risk” while the other reads, “No cell phones”.
In addition to the painted warnings on the street itself, the city has also posted large signs in the area that read, “First mobile phone sidewalks in China”, with a diagram illustrating how to use the street. According to a report in the Telegraph, local officials created the lane to remind pedestrians that “it is best not to play with your phone while walking”.
Of course, this would probably never work in Malaysia considering the frequency of snatch thefts cases. You know the one, when an unsuspecting person gets his/her smartphones snatched right out of his/her hands in a split second by a random stranger and the incident would usually take a few seconds to register but by the time the victim realises it, the thief would’ve already sprinted far, far away.