In response to the overwhelming issue of pedestrians texting while walking, one German city has installed sidewalk traffic lights that can be seen while looking down.
The new traffic light initiative came about after a young girl was killed by a tram as a consequence of using her phone at a busy intersection. Now the city of Augsburg is installing red LED lights directly into sidewalks as a way to ensure pedestrians are aware of their surroundings even while looking down at their screen. The new sidewalk traffic lights have been dubbed 'Boden Ampeln,' which means 'floor traffic lamps' in English.
While the idea of putting traffic signals in the ground may seem counter-intuitive, the initiative demonstrates how new technology and changing human behavior is gradually influencing city infrastructure.
Sidewalk-Embedded Traffic Signals
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Designated Texting Lanes
Sustainable Rubber Sidewalks
Awareness-Raising Text Lanes