Philadelphia, April 1, 2012 – A trailblazing breakthrough in safety and convenience is now painted on the 1400 block of JFK Blvd. Across the street from Philadelphia’s majestic City Hall and in the shadow of the great seal of Philadelphia that hangs from the Municipal Services Building, the Mayor’s Office of Transportation and Utilities has installed space on the sidewalk for a pilot Electronic Device Lane, referred to as the E-Lane. The E-Lane is a dedicated sidewalk space exclusively for pedestrians who wish to use electronic devices while walking. The E-Lane pilot is scheduled to last for one week. The lane is easily identified with its bright lines and with a first of its kind distracted walker icon – reminiscent of the bicyclists icons found marked in the City’s bike lanes.
“Philadelphia is the city of firsts. On April 1st 2012, the world again sees a first in Philadelphia,” said Mayor Michael A. Nutter. “Stand on any sidewalk in Philadelphia 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. The E-Lane is a safe and convenient option for those distracted walkers and should make sidewalks safer for the rest of us.” The Mayor continued, “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.”
Deputy Mayor for Transportation and Utilities Rina Cutler noted, “We are all pedestrians. The transportation needs of Philadelphia are changing and my office is working hard to accommodate those changes. We’ve piloted bike lanes, transit improvements, parklets and other innovations. I am pleased to bring this latest pilot to our sidewalks.” Cutler added, “About every four hours a pedestrian in Philadelphia is struck by a car. The first thing one learns in kindergarten is to look both ways when crossing the street. Pedestrians have an important role to play in keeping themselves safe on the street: use crosswalks, wait for cross signals, turn down music and look up from electronic devices when crossing the street. At the end of the day we just want to get everyone home safely.”
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