Texting while walking

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A few days ago, CNN published an article entitled "Chinese city tests out sidewalk lanes for cellphone users".

See also this article on Mashable and this one on MTV news (with some funny videos).

The Chinese text on the sidewalk reads:

yǔnxǔ shǐyòng shǒujī 允许使用手机 ("use of cell phones is permitted")

dàn fēngxiǎn zìfù 但风险自负 ("but it is at your own risk")

Similar experiments had earlier been tried in Philadelphia and Washington.

Having several times nearly been run over or crashed into by drivers who were texting or talking on their cell phones, I hope that someday they will all be cordoned off by concrete barriers and left, so to speak, to their own devices.

[Hat tip Nathan Hopson; thanks to Fangyi Cheng and Rebecca Fu]


  1. dixie said,

    September 20, 2014 @ 9:37 pm

    It was hyped up by the MSM.
    'A Chinese city didn’t seriously add a “texting” lane to its sidewalks'

    It was in a Chinese theme park on a 'street' called 'Foreigner Street'. It was American poking fun at the Chinese poking fun at the American.

  2. Michael Watts said,

    September 21, 2014 @ 10:57 pm

    As someone familiar with Shanghai traffic, I'm very curious about the implied drivers you've encountered who did not nearly run you over or crash into you. That behavior is so common that I don't see how cell phones could aggravate it.

  3. Victor Mair said,

    September 22, 2014 @ 5:39 am

    @Michael Watts

    I'm not talking about drivers "who did not nearly run" me over or crash into me; I'm talking about ones who DID nearly run over me or crash into me. In other words, they almost ran over me or crashed into me, and I had to take evasive action to save myself.

    Of course, I know that drivers in China are of a different sort altogether. They don't need the excuse of a cell phone to run you over or crash into you. But I was talking about American drivers, most of whom are fairly responsible and attentive (except for those of certain cities, which I won't name here).

  4. Daniel Barkalow said,

    September 22, 2014 @ 11:50 am

    New York City is way ahead of them: http://improveverywhere.com/2013/04/30/seeing-eye-people/. They use a different technique because the special lane is reserved for slow moving tourists.

  5. Michael Watts said,

    September 23, 2014 @ 6:26 am

    @Victor Mair,

    My apologies; I meant my comment mostly as a joke (I could have sworn I ended it with a ;) semicolon-parenthesis emoticon). And regardless, interpreting you as referring to Chinese instead of American drivers was a misunderstanding on my part.

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