We’re all familiar with the sight of a mobile phone user stumbling down the street like a mindless zombie, oblivious to the world at-large and driven solely by an overwhelming and unrelenting need.
And what is that need, you may ask? It’s the 21st century citizen’s compulsion to keep their beady little eyes permanently trained upon the glaring screen and virtual reality of their smartphone.
The next time they stagger down the street, watch them texting, facebooking, twittering, and emailing away like their very lives depended upon it.
The peripheral vision and five senses of these “walking dead” have all been nullified by a little object the size of a brick that symbolizes state-of-the-art communication. In actual fact, these devices tend to make people pretty pig ignorant.
Great is the number of these mindless zombies and hugely contagious is their condition.
However, in Chongqing, China, they’ve decided to take drastic measures when it comes to combating the zombie threat.
Phone addiction has become such a massive problem in the city that authorities have decided to take decisive action to quarantine the zombie walkers and hopefully prevent the condition from spilling over into decent society.
How do they hope to achieve this? By creating a special walking lane for zombie pedestrians hooked to their mobile phones.
A large portion of China’s huge population of 1.3 billion are hopeless addicts when it comes to their mobile phones, and these dawdling app junkies are often guilty of holding up those in a hurry behind them.
To solve the problem, over 100 feet of pavement in Chongqing has been marked with special paint for the phone zombies.
The pavement situated upon Foreigner Street boasts the word “cellphones” painted on the ground alongside arrows which mark it out as a separate walking lane.
In the adjacent lane there is a “no cellphone” sign for pedestrians who are perhaps in more of a rush and like to take in the sights as they stroll.
Officials who designed the unique venture were keen to remind pedestrians of the one important aspect to be taken on board from the zombie lane.
“It’s best not to play with your phone while walking.”
In 2012, the Philadelphia mayor’s office issued press releases about a similar scheme as part of an April Fool’s Day prank. The statement referred to a pilot program called an “E-lane” and Mayor Nutter had nothing but praise for the concept.
“Stand on any sidewalk in Philadelphia you will see fellow citizens with busy lives who can’t take the time to look up from their iPhones, BlackBerries and other electronic devices.
“The E-Lane is a safe and convenient option for those distracted walkers and should make sidewalks safer for the rest of us. More Philadelphians than ever before rely on mobile technology to do business and stay in touch with family and friends. We need to accommodate them.”
However, there was a serious message behind the prank. In Philadelphia, a pedestrian is struck by a car once every four hours, much to mayor’s office worker Andrew Stober’s dismay.
“It’s something that we see all over the city, pedestrians who aren’t paying attention. It’s one of the first things you’re taught growing up. Look both ways when you cross the street.”