Texting? This Sidewalk Is Not for You

As the issue of cell phones and distracted driving grows more divisive in many countries, a city in China has created a tongue-in-cheek way of discouraging distracted walking. The municipality of Chongqing has created a phone-free pedestrian lane on its sidewalks.

Chongqing, a municipality of 29 million in southwest China, is trying to figure out how to break pedestrians of the habit of walking while looking down at their phones, according to a report by Time magazine. The city thought it might try creating a separate pedestrian lane for those who are walking without phone in hand.

Signs and street markings announcing the lanes appeared recently on a short section of pavement in the city's entertainment district. The markings, spread along about 100 feet of pavement, indicated that one section of the sidewalk was to be considered a no-cell-phone lane.

The UKEUs Daily Mirror reported that pavement situated along ChongqingEUs Foreigner Street displayed the word "cellphones" painted on the ground next to arrows marking the stretch of sidewalk as a separate walking lane.

In the pedestrian lane next door, there is a "no cellphones" sign, presumably aimed at pedestrians who have their cell phones put away and might be in a hurry or want to see the sights in the entertainment district.

DonEUt Play with Your Phone

Nong Cheng, a spokeswoman for the district's property management company, said in a statement that the signs were put up because of the large number of children and elderly people who walk in the crowded district, and that the markings were an attempt to prevent collisions.

However, Nong said, the markings did not indicate the passage of a new law and were meant to be a lighthearted way to point out that texting and walking can be hazardous.

The city officials who designed the markings were on hand to remind...

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