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Chongqing creates cell phone sidewalk lane

Published:Tuesday | September 16, 2014 | 12:00 AM
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.

BEIJING (AP): Taking a cue from an American TV programme, the Chinese city of Chongqing has created a smartphone sidewalk lane, offering a path for those too engrossed in messaging and tweeting to watch where they're going.

But the property manager says it's intended to be ironic, to remind people that it's dan-gerous to tweet while walking the street.

"There are lots of elderly people and children in our street, and walking with your cell 1phone may cause unnecessary collisions here," said Nong Cheng, the marketing official with Meixin Group, which manages the area in the city's entertainment zone.

OBLIVIOUS USERS

Meixin has marked a 50-metre (165-foot) stretch of pavement with two lanes: one that prohibits cell phone use next to one that allows pedestrians to use them, at their "own risk".

Nong said the idea came from a similar stretch of pavement in Washington DC created by National Geographic Television in July as part of a behaviour experiment.

She said that pedestrians were not taking the new lanes seriously, but that many were snapping pictures of the signs and sidewalk.

"Those using their cell phones, of course, have not heeded the markings on the pavement," she said. "They don't notice them."

AP