Philadelphia 'Texting Lane' Serves as Prank with a Message

By Steve Anderson April 02, 2012

With April Fools' Day now passed into memory, one particular joke has lingered on as a potential discussion tool and topic to be addressed for one major American city. The City of Philadelphia added a set of lines to the sidewalks in front of City Hall, specifically for those distracted by text messaging and other forms of digital communication.

The texting lanes – dubbed "e-lanes" by the City of Philadelphia – are marked in standard lane-marking style featuring a stylized human staring into a small slip of white in the white space where a human hand should be. The lines run along parts of Philadelphia's John F. Kennedy Boulevard, and are set to remain there for the better part of this week. They were even given promotional video treatment as Mayor Michael Nutter delivered a video address about them. He was quickly cut off by a second pedestrian engrossed in the display on his portable device. The distracted gent was played by Steven Buckley, deputy commissioner of the Streets Department.

The "e-lanes," and their promotion, are a small prank, appropriate to the season, but with an unexpected note of seriousness; distracted pedestrians are reportedly a serious problem in Philadelphia, one that the city is planning to address, possibly beyond the mock commercials and the comical pavement markings.

While distracted driving is a widely-acknowledged problem, mainly because it's significantly more dangerous, it's a bit more difficult to consider distracted walking as anything more than a minor annoyance. But considering that a pedestrian is hit by a car, on average, once every four hours in the City of Philadelphia, it may be substantially more of a problem than first thought, according to Mayor Nutter.

How far the City of Philadelphia will go with this remains to be seen, but one thing is quite clear: Philadelphia clearly has its residents' best interests at heart. Whether a campaign to snuff out distracted walking will be successful, or even worthwhile, will depend largely on those pedestrians themselves.




Edited by Carrie Schmelkin

Contributing TechZone360 Writer

SHARE THIS ARTICLE
Related Articles

Bloomberg BETA: Models Are Key to Machine Intelligence

By: Paula Bernier    4/19/2018

James Cham, partner at seed fund Bloomberg BETA, was at Cisco Collaboration Summit today talking about the importance of models to the future of machi…

Read More

Get Smart About Influencer Attribution in a Blockchain World

By: Maurice Nagle    4/16/2018

The retail value chain is in for a blockchain-enabled overhaul, with smarter relationships, delivering enhanced transparency across an environment of …

Read More

Facebook Flip-Flopping on GDPR

By: Maurice Nagle    4/12/2018

With GDPR on the horizon, Zuckerberg in Congress testifying and Facebook users questioning loyalty, change is coming. What that change will look like,…

Read More

The Next Phase of Flash Storage and the Mid-Sized Business

By: Joanna Fanuko    4/11/2018

Organizations amass profuse amounts of data these days, ranging from website traffic metrics to online customer surveys. Collectively, AI, IoT and eve…

Read More

Satellite Imaging - Petabytes of Developer, Business Opportunities

By: Doug Mohney    4/11/2018

Hollywood has programmed society into believing satellite imaging as a magic, all-seeing tool, but the real trick is in analysis. Numerous firms are f…

Read More