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Watch where you're going ... it's the smartphone sidewalk

Taking a cue from an American TV program, the Chinese city of Chongqing has created a smartphone sidewalk lane, offering a path for those too engrossed in their phones to watch where they're going.

But the property manager says it's intended to be ironic - to remind people that it's dangerous to tweet while walking the street.

"There are lots of elderly people and children in our street, and walking with your cellphone may cause unnecessary collisions," said Nong Cheng, a marketing official with Meixin Group, which manages the city's entertainment zone.

Nong said the idea came from a stretch of pavement in Washington created by National Geographic Television in July as part of a behaviour experiment.

She said that pedestrians were not taking the new lanes seriously, but that many were snapping pictures of the signs and sidewalk.