People walk on a sidewalk that is divided into two sections - one for those using cell phones, and the other for those who are not - in Chongqing on Saturday. (Ran Wen / for China Daily)
Chongqing provides separate pathway at Yangrenjie scenic spot
The first "mobile phone sidewalk in China" has appeared at a scenic spot in Chongqing municipality.
The sidewalk - 3 meters wide and 50 meters long - was built in the Yangrenjie Scenic Spot in Chongqing.
It separates pedestrians along two pathways. One is for cell phone users to walk on; the other is for those without cell phones.
A warning sign proclaims: Cell phones walk in this lane at your own risk".
"In my mind, these sidewalks help a lot in minimizing security risks for mobile phone addicts," said Wang Li, a local resident who doesn't use a mobile phone often.
Cases of mobile phone users being injured while using their phones and ignoring their surroundings have been reported by the media.
Tourists who were attracted to the sidewalk took photos of it. But many did not comply with the regulation, and someone even parked a car on the sidewalk.
Li Zhijiang, a 20-year-old college student from Guizhou, regarded the sidewalk as great progress.
"I knew there were such sidewalks in Washington's central business district, which are very necessary for the addicts, especially in the busy streets," Li said.
Anthony Edwards, a 28-year-old actor from England, was enthusiastic, saying it was an improvement over his home country.
"In England, we don't have this kind of sidewalk," he said.
However, his Chinese colleague, Xing Xing, thought the sidewalk was "pointless", but added a grudging acknowledgement:
"Setting up special sidewalks could be a solution for reducing security problems in particular situations. But this kind of sidewalk is not a fundamental solution and could be an indulgence for mobile phone addicts in the long run in my mind - and this could even lead to more problems in the future."
With the increasing popularity of smartphones, more young people in China are glued to them, a phenomenon that worries many experts. It is estimated that the number of smartphone users in China will exceed 500 million this year.