Don’t Look Up: Would Traffic Signals in the Pavement Protect NYC Phone Gazers?

Posted On Fri, April 29, 2016 By

Posted On Fri, April 29, 2016 By In City Living, ideas from abroad, Technology

We’ve already seen the creation of texting lanes for smartphone addicts (in Antwerp, Belgium and Chongqing, China) so pedestrians don’t have to be stuck behind someone hunting for the perfect emoji. Recently the German city of Augsburg has taken the step of actually installing traffic lights in the pavement so text-walkers could be made aware of when it’s unsafe to walk–by which we mean they’re about to walk into the path of a 50-ton train. The idea came about after a 15-year-old girl was fatally hit by an oncoming tram while wearing headphones and looking down at her smartphone.

As reported in The Telegraph, the lights look like ordinary road markers, but flat to the ground. Bavarian public-works/transportation provider Stadtwerke Augsburg has installed the experimental earthbound traffic signals in two rail stations. The LED lights blink green when it’s safe to walk and red when a train is approaching. They’re visible from a distance, so they might even give pedestrians some lead time to realize an intersection is up ahead.

Pavement Traffic Lights Texting 2
Photo: Thomas Hosemann/SWA

According to a survey of six European capitals, 17 percent of pedestrians use their smartphones in road traffic (or at least that’s how many will admit it in a survey). It is, as we know, a growing issue on the streets of New York City as well, and in-pavement traffic signals might not be a bad idea–since we’ve all at least seen someone nearly get creamed by something on wheels while staring down at a smartphone. Of course, text-walkers might not notice the street signals either, as was the case for a few citizens approached for their opinion on them by the press.


Demonstrating the new Bavarian traffic signals; it’s in German but the visuals get the point across.

Antwerp’s text walking lanes, like the ones in China and similar ones in Washington, D.C., have been quasi-humor/art projects meant to poke fun at smartphone zombies. But with the number of pedestrians’ cell phone-related injuries rising by 35 percent within the last five years, it’s all fun and games until someone gets hit by a train.

[Via Telegraph]

RELATED:

Tags : ,

MOST RECENT ARTICLES

  • Weekly highlights: Top picks from the 6sqft staff

    Weekly highlights: Top picks from the 6sqft staff

    CNN’s Don Lemon sells Harlem condo for small profit 128 tall buildings were constructed in 2016, a world record Tennis ...
  • Art Nerd New York’s top event picks for the week – 1/19-1/25

    Art Nerd New York’s top event picks for the week – 1/19-1/25

    In a city where hundreds of interesting happenings occur each week, it can be hard to pick and choose your ...
  • $12,000/month to rent this triplex townhouse beauty in Boerum Hill

    $12,000/month to rent this triplex townhouse beauty in Boerum Hill

    Renters can enjoy Brooklyn townhouse living in all its glory here at 306 State Street, a Boerum Hill property now ...
  • Millennial home buyers prefer DIY over going into debt over renovations

    Millennial home buyers prefer DIY over going into debt over renovations

    Millennial homeowners—yes, they do exist—are a careful lot, according to Better Homes & Gardens’ ninth annual survey of trends in ...
  • Have your apartment photographed by 6sqft!

    Have your apartment photographed by 6sqft!

    Did you spend months decorating your apartment? Is your home historic or quirky? If you live in a unique or ...
  • Express N train tunnel will close for a year in Brooklyn; Map shows the CO2 savings of CitiBike

    Express N train tunnel will close for a year in Brooklyn; Map shows the CO2 savings of CitiBike

    The express N train tunnel between the 36th and 59th street stations in Brooklyn will close for a year for repairs ...
  • The first presidential inauguration was held in New York City in 1789

    The first presidential inauguration was held in New York City in 1789

    As Washington, D.C. attempts to rein in the crowds on this Inauguration Day, New Yorkers can be thankful someone else ...
  • FREE RENT: A roundup of NYC’s latest rental concessions

    FREE RENT: A roundup of NYC’s latest rental concessions

    Midtown Rental Skyscraper ‘Tower 31‘ Offering One Month Free or One Month OP on Select Leases [link] Leasing Launches at ...
  • VIDEO: Watch the MTA clean subway tracks with their new Mobile Vacs

    VIDEO: Watch the MTA clean subway tracks with their new Mobile Vacs

    This past May the MTA recorded 50,436 subway delays, 697 of which were caused by track fires that could have ...
  • The Urban Lens: Inside ‘Little Odessa,’ Brighton Beach’s quaint beachfront Russian community

    The Urban Lens: Inside ‘Little Odessa,’ Brighton Beach’s quaint beachfront Russian community

    6sqft’s ongoing series The Urban Lens invites photographers to share work exploring a theme or a place within New York City. ...
  • Whole Foods will open a lower-priced ‘365’ store in Downtown Brooklyn

    Whole Foods will open a lower-priced ‘365’ store in Downtown Brooklyn

    Downtown Brooklyn is quickly becoming one of NYC’s most desirable commercial hubs. On top of hosting a lengthy roster of big ...
  • MTA backs plan to raise subway and bus fare to $3 come March

    MTA backs plan to raise subway and bus fare to $3 come March

    At a board meeting over the summer, the MTA began discussions about increasing subway and bus fare to $3 by ...

SIGN UP FOR OUR NEWSLETTERS

Thank you, your sign-up request was successful!
This email address is already subscribed, thank you!
Please provide a valid email address.
Please complete the CAPTCHA.
Oops. Something went wrong. Please try again later.