Back in the spring, a tourist sidewalk lane magically appeared along Fifth Avenue, separating the chaff of idle skyscraper-gazers from the wheat of get-out-of-our-way natives. At first, rumor had it that it was a piece by British invader Banksy, but it was eventually revealed to be an Improv Everywhere prank. But in a new twist today, it seems the British are borrowing the idea to utilize in one of the busiest streets in London.

New West End Company, a group of 600 business owners in the district around Oxford Street, is planning to direct slow movers to walk in a "shopper lane" along store fronts, so that hurried residents and workers can proceed without traffic on the edge of the sidewalks. The Wall Street Journal says the idea "echoes a gag played in New York City last May," attributing it to IE. There would be no legal consequences to disobeying the lanes, but an "army of privately funded Red Caps" will be used to gently sway people toward their designated lane.

The Fast Lane Campaign had been proposed for Oxford Street as far back as 2000, to help ward off and prevent "pavement rage," but perhaps it took seeing the idea in action in NYC to finalize their resolve. We spoke to Charlie Todd, founder of Improv Everywhere, about the project, which was a collaboration with Jeff Greenspan:

No, no one has contacted us from London about our project, and I can't say if we had any influence over it or not. I will say that our project was intended as a complete joke. I think it would absurd to actually have fast and slow lanes on a sidewalk, and even more absurd to have people wearing red hats walking around enforcing it. People walk at many different speeds-- "fast" and "slow" doesn't cover it. Any true fast walker knows he has to constantly zig and zag through all types of people going all sorts of speeds and directions.