China mall sets up special lane for pedestrians glued to their mobile phones

A dedicated path for mobile phone users has been introduced at the entrance of a shopping mall on Yan Da Road in Xi An.
A dedicated path for mobile phone users has been introduced at the entrance of a shopping mall on Yan Da Road in Xi An.PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM MIAOPAI VIDEO

Pedestrians who hunch over their mobile phones while walking can now do so with ease at a dedicated path in the northern Chinese city of Xi An.

Local authorities introduced the special pedestrian lane at the entrance of a shopping mall on Yan Da Road, reported Shaanxi Online News.

A spokesman for the mall, which had been calling for the path for more than a month, said that cars often go on the pavement, which is also a busy pathway for pedestrians.

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

While this may seem like a novel idea for Xi An residents, the city is not the first to introduce such special lanes.

In 2014, the authorities in Chongqing designated a 30m "text-walking lane" for those who use their phones while walking.

Elsewhere in the world, Antwerp in Belgium also adopted a similar idea, while in Seoul, crossed-out signs of a walking man looking at a phone in his hand with the words "stay safe when walking" have been put up.

 

In Xi An, residents are divided over the usefulness of the lane.

A resident, who gave his name as Mr Cheng, applauded the move and said that it will also help to alert drivers to mobile phone addicts.

However, a Xi An University of Science and Technology undergraduate said: "With the lane, people will feel safer, but this may also result in more people using their phones while walking."