China creates its first no-cellphone sidewalk lane

In this photo taken Saturday, Sept. 13, 2014, residents walk on a lane painted with instructions to separate those using their phones as they walk from others in southwest China's Chongqing Municipality. The Chinese city took a cue from a U.S. TV program and created a sidewalk with a separate lane for those with heads tucked into smartphones, as a reminder not to tweet while walking the street.(AP Photo) CHINA OUT

BEIJING (AP) — Taking a cue from an American TV program, the Chinese city of Chongqing has created a smartphone sidewalk lane, seemingly offering a path for those too engrossed in messaging and tweeting to watch where they’re going.

But the property manager says it’s intended to be ironic — to remind people that it’s dangerous to tweet while walking the street.

“There are lots of elderly people and children in our street, and walking with your cellphone may cause unnecessary collisions here,” said Nong Cheng, the marketing official with Meixin Group, which manages the area in the city’s entertainment zone.

Meixin has marked a 50-meter stretch of pavement with two lanes: one that prohibits cellphone use next to one that allows pedestrians to use them — at their “own risk.”

Nong said the idea came from a similar stretch of pavement in Washington D.C. created by National Geographic Television in July as part of a behavior experiment.

She said that pedestrians were not taking the new lanes seriously, but that many were snapping pictures of the signs and sidewalk.

“Those using their cellphones of course have not heeded the markings on the pavement,” she said. “They don’t notice them.”

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

In this photo taken Saturday, Sept. 13, 2014, residents walk on a lane painted with instructions to separate those using their phones as they walk from others in southwest China's Chongqing Municipality.  The Chinese city took a cue from a U.S. TV program and created a sidewalk with a separate lane for those with heads tucked into smartphones, as a reminder not to tweet while walking the street.(AP Photo) CHINA OUT
In this photo taken Saturday, Sept. 13, 2014, residents walk on a lane painted with instructions to separate those using their phones as they walk from others in southwest China’s Chongqing Municipality. The Chinese city took a cue from a U.S. TV program and created a sidewalk with a separate lane for those with heads tucked into smartphones, as a reminder not to tweet while walking the street.(AP Photo) CHINA OUT

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