Orem, Utah’s Utah Valley University has a shockingly practical solution for students who insist on texting while walking: Take the texting lane.
The university added a new “lane” to its Student Life and Wellness Center floors to accommodate the thoroughly modern problem of students texting while walking.
“When you have 18- to 24-year-olds walking on campus glued to their smartphones, you’re almost bound to run into someone somewhere; it’s the nature of the world we live in,” Matt Bambrough, UVU’s creative director, said in a news release. “But that isn’t the reason we did it – we used that fact to engage our students, to catch their attention and to let them know we are aware of who they are and where they’re coming from.”
As Today reports, the idea of creating a “text only” lane for distracted perambulators originated in July 2014, when National Geographic created a “no texting” lane on a Washington, D.C., street to “study” cell phone users. That idea was adopted by the Chinese city of Chongqing in September – the city divided a walkway in one of its theme parks to “texting” and “non” lanes.
“This graphic is obviously more aesthetic than functional,” Bambrough elaborated, but sadly noted that “we’ve noticed that most texters aren’t actually following the posted lanes.” You can lead a texter to a special lane, but you can’t make him walk in it.