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Montreal's Saint-Catherine Street Needs "No Cellphones" Sidewalk Lanes Badly

Photo Cred - AP

As soon as someone puts a cellphone to their ear, they become a walking ball of annoyance to all surrounding pedestrians. Not only are you forced to put up with their always-annoying conversation, but cell-walkers simply loses all sense of self/orientation, speeding up and slowing down at random times, not seeing people around them, and will sometimes just stop to chat at random intervals. The solution? No cellphone-laned sidewalks in Montreal.

The practice of designated cell-sidewalks has already been done in Washington D.C., kinda. A new National Geographic TV show, Mind Over Matter , performed (and filmed) a social experiment by painting the U.S. capital's sidewalks with lanes for those on their cellphones and those walking freehand.

Most who experienced the stunt first-hand didn't pay heed to the no cellphone-sidewalks too much, either briefly taking notice, then quickly returning to their phones, or just thinking it was a gag, which it was. Still, it got us thinking how Montreal could benefit from designated sidewalk lanes.

In essence, the sidewalk lanes would be divided into on or off cellphone/fast and slow lanes, for those on their phones who obviously aren't paying full attention to things around them, and those who just want to power-walk to their destination. Particularly slow walkers could go into the cell-only lane too, so as not to inspire the ire of those stuck behind them in the "fast" lane.

Saint-Catherine Street would probably be the ideal spot, as not only is the downtown section is a hub of pedestrian activity, and it also hosts many a tourist who simply don't understand walking culture in Montreal, which equates to walk quickly and ignore traffic lights. Cellphone-walkers and Montreal noobies tend to impeded the pedestrian flow on St. Cats, which wouldn't be a problem if they had their own lane.

Should Montreal sidewalks have no cellphone lanes?

For more on all things Montreal, follow Michael on Twitter @MDAlimonte


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