A transportation provider in Augsburg, Germany, has installed traffic signals into the asphalt of two of the city's rail stations as part of an ongoing trial. When the street is safe to cross, the LED traffic lights flash green. When there's a tram approaching, they flash red to get the attention of any pedestrians with their eyes glued to a screen.Read More: Germany Installs Ground-Level Traffic Lights for Distracted Phone Users
and from the Washington Post:
Foreign visitors frequently wonder why crowds of Germans wait for traffic lights to turn green when there are no cars in sight.
That is why officials in the city of Augsburg became concerned when they noticed a new phenomenon: Pedestrians were so busy looking at their smartphones that they were ignoring traffic lights.
The city has attempted to solve that problem by installing new traffic lights embedded in the pavement — so that pedestrians constantly looking down at their phones won't miss them.
In 2014, the Chinese city of Chongqing made headlines when it experimented with a 165-foot stretch of pavement where pedestrians had to choose between walking on a normal lane and one reserved for smombies -- a portmanteau of "smartphone" and "zombies" used to describe people walking and staring at their devices.Read More: WorldViews This city embedded traffic lights in the sidewalks so that smartphone users don’t have to look up
"There are lots of elderly people and children in our street, and walking with your cellphone may cause unnecessary collisions here," marketing official Nong Cheng told the Associated Press at that time.
There seems to be a strong push to make streets safer with sidewalks being installed, more crosswalks being installed, reflective lighting on crosswalks, countdown timers on traffic lights, and just overall safety being emphasized on streets and roads now. It didn't used to be like this 10-20 years ago, but now there is a push to make streets look safer. I think the reason is because they want people constantly looking down at their smart phones and not using their brains and looking up. If this is to be the future, then streets have to be made safer because pedestrians would be getting killed at massive rates.