Texting while walking may not be nearly as dangerous as texting while driving, but it can be pretty bothersome to people around you. Especially in crowded urban areas, people focusing on their smartphones and not paying attention to where they’re walking is a common and rather annoying occurrence, but a few cities have developed an amusing solution to this problem: text walking lanes.
People’s apparent eagerness to stay connected at all times means we’re seeing more and more folk walking the streets lost in their phones. Well, we would see them if we weren’t staring at our own handsets, right? The thing is, this growing distraction means many smartphone addicts are risking life and limb as they go about their day, with near misses and collisions occurring at an increasing rate. In an effort to put phone users on the right track and ease the stress of the disgruntled pedestrians that have to dodge them, a city in Belgium has created several “text walking lanes.” Following in the footsteps of Washington, DC, and Chongqing in China, the special lanes have been painted onto a number of Antwerp’s busiest shopping streets. While the measure is, in reality, a marketing stunt by local mobile firm Mlab, it’s likely that many in the area wouldn’t mind keeping the markings.