Authorities in the Chinese city of Xi’an recently inaugurated a special sidewalk lane designed for “phubbers” – people who walk while staring at their smartphones and ignore everything around them.
Painted red, green and blue and featuring pictures of smartphones, the special lane is located on the busy Yanta Roan, in Xi’an, and is 80cm wide and 100m long. Chinese media reports that a large shopping mall overlooking the smartphone-user lane had been asking authorities for it over a month, which suggests that it’s just a marketing scheme. However, it turns out that the special sidewalk lane is actually a safety precaution for “phubbers”. Cars often come onto the pavement in front of the mall, sometimes barely missing pedestrians who have their eyebvalls virtually glued to their smartphones, so the lane is supposed to keep them out of harm’s way.