In China, special lane for smartphone addicts

Beijing, June 8 (IANS) Cities around the world have special lanes for cyclists and pedestrians, but a Chinese city has gone a step ahead by creating an exclusive lane for slow-walking smartphone users, the media reported.

The special lane along the Yanta Road in Xi’an is meant for “phubbers” — people who stare at their phones and ignore everything else around them, the BBC reported this week citing Shaanxi Online News.

Unlike ordinary pedestrian lanes, this route has pictures of smartphones installed along the way — a move aimed at making it easier for the phubbers to identify the lane designed for them.

The lane is painted red, green and blue and is 80cm wide and 100m long, the report said.

People living in that part of the world seem to be quite happy with the new initiative.

“Everybody walking along here thinks that it’s very safe; at the side of the road, there are cars, and the vehicles also come onto here, and sometimes only just avoid you,” a city resident Wei Xiaowei, who was interviewed by news website The Paper, was quoted as saying.

However, not everyone thinks it to be the right solution for those who cannot keep their eyes off their devices even when walking.

They may not be entirely wrong — a separate lane will not guarantee that the smartphone users won’t bump into each other.

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