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The modern-day scourge of texting while walking is finally being taken on by a Chinese city with generous sidewalk space and a liberal approach to civic planning — or so the story goes.
The scene is Chongqing, a bustling Chinese metropolis of almost 30 million people. As multiple outlets are reporting, a 50 meter stretch of sidewalk in the city has been split down the middle into two painted lanes: ones for people using their cellphones, and one for people walking unencumbered.
The sidewalks have apparently inspired a fair bit of buzz — according to the state-run paper China Daily, one local resident said the new measure could "help a lot in minimizing security risks for mobile phone addicts."
But The Wall Street Journal has picked up on some dissent within the country, highlighting one Weibo user who commented, "Is the goal here to encourage still more people to use their cellphones while walking?"
The story's pretty popular in Western media as well. Some outlets suggested the lanes were a serious civic initiative for combating tech addiction. The Inquisitr even blasted Chongqing for treating its citizens like "mindless zombies."
But a spokeswoman for the district's property management company told the Associated Press the concept was a satirical stunt meant to highlight the dangers of texting while walking. She also admitted few people were actually using the lanes as intended.
This idea has been tested before — specifically in July, when National Geographic took over a D.C. sidewalk to film an upcoming show. The film crew set up a similar two-lane arrangement segregating phone users from the masses and spent the day filming how people reacted.
One Yahoo writer who visited the filming wasn't impressed with the results, noting the lanes were mostly ignored by regular pedestrians and mostly went unnoticed by those on their cellphones. Furthermore, a lot of passers-by stopped to take photos of the novelty lanes — which ended up adding to the congestion.
A writer for Quartz points out, the Chinese no-phone lanes weren't exactly put up on a busy city thoroughfare — instead, the experiment went up in what Quartz calls "a bizarre theme park ... that is also home to the world’s largest public toilet."
This particular section of the city, known as Yangren Jie, or "Foreigner Street," is dotted with kitschy recreations of famous landmarks from around the world. These include replicas of Egypt's pyramids, Brazil's Christ the Redeemer statue ... and now, D.C.'s texting lanes, apparently.
It's easy to see why the story about no-texting lanes took off the way it did. Texting while walking is a widely unpopular and risky practice that's been linked to numerous accidents, both minor scrapes and lethal collisions. (Video via ABC, The New York Times)
Perhaps we just wanted to believe someone had finally found a solution.Tue, 16 Sep 2014 07:13:07 -0400
Police in Gastonia are investigating a series of robberies overnight.
Officers told Channel 9 that the first crime was a home invasion on Ransom Street just after midnight.
The second incident happened roughly 15 minutes later, when police said two men robbed someone outside a house on Robinwood Road.
The third crime was another home invasion 15 minutes later on Wingate Street.
Police said that the crimes may be related and are looking for two black male suspects and that one of them had a gun.
Nobody was injured during any of the crimes.
Sign up for breaking news alerts, click here.Tue, 16 Sep 2014 04:39:30 -0400
A man who was upset with his neighbor’s dog took out his shotgun and fatally shot the wrong dog, according to police in Bellingham, Washington.
Loyce Andrews said her 13-month-old Welsh Corgi, Molly, died in her arms in her backyard.
"He just came up to the fence and shot her in the chest," Andrews said. "I held her the whole time she was dying; she was on the grass. She was screaming and panting."
Her husband, Cary Chunyk, said he was with Molly by the fence when he saw 55-year-old David William Latham shoot his dog.
"I couldn't believe what I just saw. He turned and just faced me and just gave me this look like, 'I just shot your dog,'" Chunyk said.
Police said the shooter was upset about dogs in the area barking continuously.
Andrews said Molly and her other Corgi, Kirby, were not barking when Latham approached her backyard.
"It's a horrible, horrible way to do die. You don’t do that. I don’t care whose dog it is, you don’t do that," Andrews said. "It's senseless, it's ridiculous, it's incomprehensible."
Appearing before a Whatcom County Superior Court judge on Monday afternoon, Latham pleaded not guilty to animal cruelty, reckless endangerment and brandishing a firearm.
Prosecutors asked for his bail to be set at $50,000 because they think he is a danger to the community. The judge pointed out he does not have a violent criminal history.
"I'm scared to death of what he's going to do. I don’t know if he's going to come over here and shoot me," Andrews said.
The judge said that he does not think Latham will be a danger to the neighborhood, but ordered him to stay away from Andrews and Chunyk, banned him from having firearms, and prohibited him from having any alcohol or drugs.
Latham's next court appearance is set for 9:30 a.m. Oct. 26.Tue, 16 Sep 2014 03:26:04 -0400 News Source: MedleyStory More Local News Stories