TIME China

Chinese City Sets Up ‘No Cell Phone’ Pedestrian Lanes

China Cellphone Lane
AP In this photo taken Saturday, Sept. 13, 2014, residents walk on a lane painted with instructions to separate those using their phones as they walk from others in southwest China's Chongqing Municipality.

Texting and tweeting? Then keep to the left, people

Chongqing, a vast municipality of 28 million in southwest China, has come up with a lighthearted strategy to remind pedestrians of the dangers of looking down at a smartphone while walking — separate lanes for people using or not using their devices.

Signs and street markings appeared recently in a short section of paving in the city’s entertainment district, indicating that one section of the sidewalk would be a “no cell phone” lane, the Associated Press reports.

“There are lots of elderly people and children in our street, and walking with your cell phone may cause unnecessary collisions here,” said Nong Cheng, a spokeswoman for the district’s property management company. However, she clarified that the initiative was meant to be a satirical way to highlight the dangers of texting and walking.

Many pedestrians have been stopping to take pictures of the markings and the signage, although Nong said most of them don’t actually adhere to the guidelines.

The inspiration for the dual sidewalk came from National Geographic in the U.S., which created similar divisions on a section of pavement in Washington, D.C., in July as part of a televised behavior experiment.


Tap to read full story

Your browser is out of date. Please update your browser at http://update.microsoft.com


Dear TIME Reader,

As a regular visitor to TIME.com, we are sure you enjoy all the great journalism created by our editors and reporters. Great journalism has great value, and it costs money to make it. One of the main ways we cover our costs is through advertising.

The use of software that blocks ads limits our ability to provide you with the journalism you enjoy. Consider turning your Ad Blocker off so that we can continue to provide the world class journalism you have become accustomed to.

The TIME Team