They say it's a joke, but I don't know. Many a truth is spoken in jest, as someone once joked, and maybe these "text walking lanes" are serious business.
Chongqing, China and Washington, DC both have streets with narrow paths set aside for people who just have to be on their phones while they're walking along. And right in my neighborhood, we kept seeing a woman walking along a rather busy road with her face down and her hands holding a an open book. And since I was riding along in my automobile at the time, I couldn't stick with her to see what happened when she encountered driveways or intersections. I do know that if she saw someone driving illegally, she was in a good position to play judge and really throw the book at them.
But here is a picture from Antwerp, Belgium, of their street with a clearly-marked lane for those who just can't wait to get home to tell their friends what "totally just happened like OMG!!!"
A local smartphone company over there, MLab, is paying for this as a promotion. I don't think it's working very well; I can't remember the last time I got a text from Antwerp.