Utah Valley University decided to create “traffic lanes” for students so intently staring at their phones while walking that they would otherwise likely run into someone or something.
Matt Bambrough, UVU’s creative director, told the United Press International: “When you have 18- to 24-year-olds walking on campus glued to their smartphones, you’re almost bound to run into someone somewhere; it’s the nature of the world we live in. But that isn’t the reason we did it — we used that fact to engage our students, to catch their attention and to let them know we are aware of who they are and where they’re coming from. The design was meant for people to laugh at rather than a real attempt to direct traffic flow.”
As a simple joke, it’s barely funny. The real entertainment value comes from imagining the people who might fill each of these lanes.
Clearly, the left one is too narrow. Walker are likely talking with friends, walking to a class with a study partner, classmate or otherwise taking in the surrounding world.
The middle lane could have gained some real estate as well. Most runners run alone, but many like to run with a buddy.
The right lane.. they could have narrowed. One, anti-social, non-observant college student could easily fit while walking alone to their next destination .. or into a fountain.