April Fools Day: Philly Launches Specific Sidewalk Space for People Who Can’t Walk Without Texting. UPDATED at 3:30 p.m.: The City has confirmed that this was an April Fool’s joke to raise awareness to the issue of walking and texting.
The City of Philadelphia jokingly launched (with the above Youtube video) what they’re calling the E-Lane (Electronic Device Lane) for those who can’t look up from their phones long enough to actually walk down the street. While the campaign is a hoax, the first E-Lane was actually painted on the 1400 block of JFK Boulevard (across from City Hall), and was described as “a dedicated sidewalk space exclusively for pedestrians who wish to use electronic devices while walking,” in a release on the Wordpress blog for the Mayor’s Office of Transportation and Security.
“Stand on any sidewalk in Philadelphia and you will see fellow citizens with busy lives who can’t take the time to look up from their IPhones, BlackBerries and other electronic devices,” says Mayor Michael Nutter. “The E-Lane is a safe and convenient option for those distracted walkers and should make sidewalks safer for the rest of us. More Philadelphians than ever before rely on mobile technology to do business and stay in touch with family and friends . We need to accommodate them.”
Again, the Mayor’s office has confirmed that this campaign was made as a hoax to raise awareness to the issue.