A special sidewalk lane, just for text-messaging pedestrians

Summary:The City of Philadelphia investigates the implementation of electronic sidewalk lanes, or "E-Lanes," for distracted, tech-toting pedestrians on the go.

We don't really celebrate April Fool's Day here on SmartPlanet, mostly because we can get in serious hot water thanks to our role as a news organization. (As you can imagine, it's not so funny when a company's stock price tanks because of that "hilarious" acquisition. Ha. Ha.)

But technology is ripe for humor, and the City of Philadelphia got the joke when it decided to roll out a pilot program for electronic sidewalk lanes, or "E-Lanes," intended for pedestrians too busy to look up from their mobile devices as they strolled the streets of the city.

"We want to make sure that it's safe, for everyone," mayor Michael Nutter said.

It's all a joke of course, a bit of wry social commentary on the effect of mobile technology on social interaction within the grid of a city. But like all good humor, there's a kernel of truth tucked inside: we may have developed complex technology, but we're still simple creatures.

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

Topics: Innovation


Andrew Nusca is a former writer-editor for ZDNet and contributor to CNET. He is also the former editor of SmartPlanet, ZDNet's sister site about innovation. He writes about business, technology and design now but used to cover finance, fashion and culture. He was an intern at Money, Men's Vogue, Popular Mechanics and the New York Daily Ne... Full Bio

zdnet_core.socialButton.googleLabel Contact Disclosure

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Related Stories

The best of ZDNet, delivered

You have been successfully signed up. To sign up for more newsletters or to manage your account, visit the Newsletter Subscription Center.
Subscription failed.