Step aside, tourists.

City residents all over the world have long dreamed of a way to nudge rubbernecking tourists and other slow pokes to the side of the sidewalk. Liverpool in England has made that wish come true—at least for a short while. Retailer Argos has installed “Fast Track” pedestrian lanes near a shopping complex for a trial, er, run; The Daily Mail walks us through the details:

Argos has painted new markings on the pavement outside its Liverpool store after research revealed almost half the nation found the slow pace of high streets to be their biggest shopping bugbear.

The new lane, being trialled this week in the Liverpool One shopping complex, hopes to help pick up the pace for those who are hurrying by bypassing the crowds.

New statistics show 31 per cent of people find pavement hoggers frustrating, while more than a quarter (27 per cent) get annoyed by dawdling pedestrians.

The marketing stunt, however brief, is bound to make all sorts of fast-walking cities jealous. New Yorkers, in particular, have tried many times in many ways to enforce proper sidewalk etiquette—from issuing pedestrian penalty cards that ding you for “carefree sauntering” to proposing ordinances that would require sidewalk training sessions to spray-painting walkways with “Tourists” and “New Yorkers” lanes. And yet the problem persists.

Godspeedy sidewalks, Liverpool. The world is watching.

Scott Beale / Flickr

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Maps

    Your Maps of Life Under Lockdown

    Stressful commutes, unexpected routines, and emergent wildlife appear in your homemade maps of life during the coronavirus pandemic.

  2. photo: The Pan-Am Worldport at JFK International Airport, built in 1960,
    Design

    Why Airports Die

    Expensive to build, hard to adapt to other uses, and now facing massive pandemic-related challenges, airport terminals often live short, difficult lives.

  3. photo: Social-distancing stickers help elevator passengers at an IKEA store in Berlin.
    Transportation

    Elevators Changed Cities. Will Coronavirus Change Elevators?

    Fear of crowds in small spaces in the pandemic is spurring new norms and technological changes for the people-moving machines that make skyscrapers possible.

  4. photo: an open-plan office
    Life

    Even the Pandemic Can’t Kill the Open-Plan Office

    Even before coronavirus, many workers hated the open-plan office. Now that shared work spaces are a public health risk, employers are rethinking office design.

  5. Maps

    Visualizing the Hidden ‘Logic’ of Cities

    Some cities’ roads follow regimented grids. Others twist and turn. See it all on one chart.

×