China Opens No-Cellphone Sidewalk Lane

China has opened the world's first no-cellphone sidewalk lane, China Daily reported.

The aim of the lane is to prevent people who are walking while texting from bumping into other pedestrians. The special sidewalk was conceptualized by the Meixin Group after being inspired by an American television program.

According to Nong Cheng, the marketing official from the company, Meixin developed the idea after watching a show created by the National Geographic Television in July.

In the show, a group of researchers created a similar sidewalk as part of a public behavior experiment. The sidewalk was then returned to its traditional purpose after the study.

Meixin's sidewalk, on the other hand, is permanent and stretches for 50 meters beside Yangrenjie road in the city of Chongqing. The area is a famous tourist attraction spot due to its Western-style buildings and a nearby amusement park, according to CNN.

The sidewalk is divided into two lanes by a thick white line. Markings on the sidewalk indicate that one lane prohibits the use of cellphones while the other is meant for those who like to text or tinker with their mobile devices while walking.

Of course, people, whether they are texting or not, can walk on whichever lane they choose. However, Cheng said they are welcome to do so at their own risk, Gulf News reported.

"There are lots of elderly people and children in our street, and walking with your cellphone may cause unnecessary collisions here," she explained.

"It's an unsafe gesture with potential safety hazards," Cheng added.

For now, pedestrians are not following the rules of the lanes according to Cheng. Instead, many of them just took pictures of the sidewalk's signs.

"Those using their cellphones, of course, have not heeded the markings on the pavement," she said.

Despite being ignored by cellphone users, some residents believe the sidewalk will help improve pedestrian safety.

"In my mind, these sidewalks help a lot in minimizing security risks for mobile phone addicts," local resident Wang Li said.

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