Archive for Friday, August 13, 2010

Don’t feel cheated: ‘Late mergers’ in construction zones can actually ease traffic congestion

In an effort to reduce the number of impaired drivers on the roads after the game, state troopers will be conducting a RAVE, or Roving Aggressive Violation Enforcement.

In an effort to reduce the number of impaired drivers on the roads after the game, state troopers will be conducting a RAVE, or Roving Aggressive Violation Enforcement.

August 13, 2010


We’ve all seen it. Construction signs ahead warning of two lanes of highway traffic merging into one.

Construction demands merging etiquette

Summer construction on Interstate 70 has caused some to revisit proper merging etiquette. Patience and preparation can help make things run more smoothly. Enlarge video

Most motorists are following what they consider to be proper roadway etiquette: Move to the open lane as soon as possible.

But then, out of nowhere, there’s that driver who speeds down the now-empty lane and cuts to the front of the line.

In traffic lingo, they’re known as late mergers. The rest of us call them something else less flattering.

As it turns out, late mergers aren’t the scourge of society.

In fact, a study from the Minnesota Department of Transportation showed that when traffic is congested, late merging shortens the length of backups, is safer because both lanes of traffic are moving near the same speed and, most surprisingly, reduces road rage.

Road rage was what prompted the state to do the study.

“We were seeing a problem in road rage in work zones,” said Jon Jackels, an intelligence transportation system program engineer for the Minnesota Department of Transportation. “It was a fairness issue. People felt like it wasn’t fair.”

So, Minnesota started posting signs that encouraged drivers to use both lanes when traffic was congested and to take turns when merging.

“We told people it was fair to be in that lane, you were not a cheater, you were allowed to be in the other lane,” Jackels said. “For some, it was a hard pill for them to swallow.”

In his national bestseller “Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do (and What It Says About Us),” Tom Vanderbilt noted that when people merged late, the full capacity of the road was used. He also argued it is a fairer system because everyone merges at a single point instead of having a thousand feet to jump lanes or jockey for position.

“Merging late, that purported symbol of individual greed, actually makes things better for everyone,” Vanderbilt writes.

Jackals, who worked on the study, says the late merge approach isn’t the final answer. In rural areas where traffic doesn’t have to slow down, Minnesota encourages drivers to merge early.

While late merging does keep other intersections from being blocked, traffic doesn’t move any faster through a work zone and it can be difficult on highways with more than two lanes.

“Some engineers say what you guys are doing is nuts,” Jackels said.

Local mergers

The Kansas Turnpike Authority has a similar approach to Minnesota concerning how traffic should merge in the work zone east of Lawrence on Interstate 70.

On days when traffic flows smoothly, project engineer Rex Fleming asks that when drivers see the merge ahead signs, they move into the right lane at the speed they are going.

“That is like 95 percent of the time,” Fleming said.

But sometimes the KTA encourages drivers to use both lanes.

“On Fridays or when there is an accident and we get congestion, what happens is traffic backs up and what we don’t want to happen is to have that congestion get back past our work area,” he said.

The goal is to not block the west Lawrence exit, which would cause further congestion.

When congestion is ahead, Fleming urges drivers to stay in the lane they are in until it is time to merge.

And remember common courtesy, he said.

“When you get to a point where you have to merge together, do it nicely,” he said.


Evan Ridenour 7 years, 8 months ago

It makes perfect sense... it allows traffic to merge at a higher rate of speed which raises the speed of everyone else. It is one of the reasons why acceleration lanes exist on highway systems.

Now if only people would start using the acceleration lane at Clinton Parkway and Iowa to merge like intended....

Robert Schehrer 7 years, 8 months ago

vertigo just said what I was thinking as I read the article. When you have to play chicken at the end of the lane, traffic moves much slower.

Evan Ridenour 7 years, 8 months ago

It is more space to merge at speed. What causes the main lane to slow down the most is having a huge line of cars at a dead stop in the secondary lane trying to merge in with the main lane at a single point.

Having everyone merge at one single point is going to be slower for everyone... if the "aholes" as you put it who tail gate and refuse to allow people to merge in would change their behavior it would speed up traffic for everyone. These people are probably the same ones who don't allow merging at that single point either, once again, slowing traffic for everyone.

GardenMomma 7 years, 8 months ago

"And remember common courtesy, he said."

THAT'S the kicker. Common courtesy is sadly lacking these days. It's all about the "Me."

cemetarysue 7 years, 8 months ago

@Eride, here's a surprise for you. The people in the correct lane have the OPTION of deciding whether or not to let in those who couldn't think ahead or take their turn. No one is obligated to let you in or is an s@@hole for not stopping in heavy traffic for your benefit. If you choose to be in a lane that is ending, you take the chance of having to wait to merge. That sense of entitlement has led cheaters even to travel on the margin beside my car because they are just unable to comprehend the legalities of right-of-way. Last month I have to confesss that I took quiet satisfaction when someone who'd been an aggressive, lane-changing driver took exception to my not letting his Mercedes crowd in drove along the margin, honking and making obscene gestures...and promptly lost a wing mirror on a merge sign.

Those (many) people who don't care for your way of driving are not obligated to accommodate you. Until and unless laws grant the right of way to those changing lanes over those moving forward, you and your selfish sense of entitlement are welcome to try cutting me off. The ticket will be yours and the insurance money mine.

jafs 7 years, 8 months ago

It seems to me that the best option would be for people to start trying to merge as soon as they see the sign, and that the people in the other lane let them in in a zipper-type fashion, everyone behaving courteously.

There's no justification at all in my mind for the jerks that zip along until the last minute, and I take pride in not allowing them in if I have the chance.

Also, though, cemetarysue seems to have a similarly bad attitude from the other lane - why wouldn't you let people in if they're trying to merge as soon as they see the need to do so?

blindrabbit 7 years, 8 months ago

Wonder if applying this concept would have changed the outcome of the unfortunate accident that occurred at the East end of the Turnpike yesterday.

windjammer 7 years, 8 months ago

No No No the driver had her head up her you know what driving at high speed. Always in the left lane speeding to get nowhere.

Practicality 7 years, 8 months ago

I think late mergers should have to wear hats around firemen.

notajayhawk 7 years, 8 months ago

Ah, yes, the Minnesota Department of Transportation, also well known for the I-35 bridge collapse in Minneapolis.

The problem with merging has to do with queue theory. Theoretically, cars meshing zipper-style at speed would allow the traffic to keep moving. But only if two conditions were met: 1) There would have to be low enough traffic density to allow all the cars to merge, and 2) nobody would slow down to increase their now-shortened following distance. The problem is, if you're following at, say, a nice, comfortable distance of 10 car lengths, and someone cuts into that gap, you have to back off or hit the brakes to build that distance back to ten lengths (again and again as more cars cut in). So does the car behind you, and behind them. The ripple effect eventually has people slowed to a crawl or stopped a couple of miles back, and that takes a long time to get moving again, like the rings of a slinky pulling out one by one.

Again, theoretically, the effects of queue theory would be the same whether at the point of the lane ending or farther back. However, in the real world, traffic at the point of lane closure is going to slow down anyway, from rubber-neckers looking at the accident, from the old fogies who think the lane is somehow narrower than yesterday because there's a row of orange cones alongside. That compounds the problem, and leads to more people cutting up the lane that's about to end.

The biggest problem with the Minnesota study is that it looks at the overall, average time it takes to get through the merge point. (A good definition of "average": If you have one foot in the fire and another frozen in a block of ice, on average you're comfortable.) But if you're the one whose been waiting in line for 20 minutes, and you're 100 yards from the lane closure, and ten cars come zipping down that lane and cut in front of you, it sure as heck is taking YOU longer to get through.

musicstudent 7 years, 8 months ago

It seems a lot of people are confusing "merge" and "yield." Merging implies that both lanes of traffic are responsible for becoming one - no one is in a "correct" lane and both lanes should alternate merging traffic. Yielding is another story - as one lane has the right of way over the other - which I agree is something many drivers in Lawrence have difficulties with.

On another note - I have lived on the east coast where there are actually signs now asking you to fill both lanes and then alternate merging into one lane when forced to. I can attest that this has improved construction zones - and aggressive driving quite a bit.

notajayhawk 7 years, 8 months ago

"It seems a lot of people are confusing "merge" and "yield." Merging implies that both lanes of traffic are responsible for becoming one - no one is in a "correct" lane and both lanes should alternate merging traffic."

Well, no, since the people in the lane that is about to close must actually change lanes, and the others do not. Yes, the person traveling in a single lane DOES have the right of way over someone changing lanes.

Fishman 7 years, 8 months ago

The only vehicle that should be allowed to legally merge at the last second is an ambulance! When I see truckers holding up traffice to make sure it is one lane that should tell you something. Someone that drives for a living knows how traffic flows. Also, where does it say if you drive a BMW, Mercedes, or Lexus you are allowed to wait until the last second to merge. Is it me, or do a disproportinate amount of the cars that you see at the last second tend to be those makes of cars? It sure seems that way. If you are one of the offenders I'm talking about, NO you are not more important than me or anyone else in line patiently waiting our turn!

notajayhawk 7 years, 8 months ago

"Is it me, or do a disproportinate amount of the cars that you see at the last second tend to be those makes of cars?"

It does seem that way. At the absolute least, the late mergers would appear to be convinced that for whatever reason, they're in a bigger hurry than anyone else, that their time is somehow worth more.

damnitimpissed 7 years, 8 months ago

I've said it before, I'll say it again (regarding the construction at the Vermont-area bridge).

If the city wanted the entire left lane of the bridge closed, they would have coned it off. Instead of using both lanes and taking turns merging like civilized, logical human beings, you would rather keep the right lane backed up all the way down the bridge and sometimes hold up traffic on 6th street all the way to Vermont, resulting in surrounding intersections with cars sitting in the middle like turds clogging a toilet.

Yes, you might think you are being "considerate," but you are actually just a turd.

This is about logic, not rudeness. You are the ones being inconsiderate. You may succeed in inconveniencing one would-be late merger, but you are also inconveniencing hundreds of other drivers who are prevented from using surrounding intersections because they are blocked by people eager to merge miles ahead of the actual construction.

Oh, also, regarding your theory about BMWs. I am a so-called "late merger" (although I think "logical merger" would be more appropriate) and I drive a car worth $0. It's not that I think I'm more important than you. It's that your strategy makes no sense.

notajayhawk 7 years, 8 months ago

I (and others) have said it before, and I (at least) will say it again: Perhaps the traffic wouldn't be backed up so far as to block surrounding intersections if it weren't for 'logical' people jumping up to the front and delaying them further.

Look, if you've got 50 cars trying to get through the merge point, it really doesn't matter if you've got one line of 50 cars or two lines of 25 cars. It still takes the same amount of time to get the line rolling (actually longer when there's more than one line). Maybe the two shorter lines wouldn't be long enough to block an intersection farther back - but that's a moot point, since whether you have one line, two lines, or ten lines, none of them should be sitting in the middle of the intersection.

But hey, since you're such a logical person, wanna' sell me your car for $1? After all, that's more than it's worth.

Scott Drummond 7 years, 8 months ago

"Late mergers?"

I thought the term for self-centered jerks who adopt a "screw everyone else" attitude" and create all sorts of havoc was "republican."

Zachary Stoltenberg 7 years, 8 months ago

When faced with this setup while in the correct lane I like to merge ever so slightly into the opposite lane. Not enough to leave the proper lane, but enough to block those self righteous idiots who think their time is more valuable than mine. If possible I do this blocks, even miles ahead of the merger. Happened a lot when they were doing the bridge construction on K-10. It doesn't endanger anyone and let's all the drivers behind you know it's not going to work to fly ahead to the merger. Traffic almost always speeds up, and even if the BMW behind be is pitching a fit, the other drivers around have given a thumbs up. Try it, I think you'll be impressed. ;)

Scott Drummond 7 years, 8 months ago

Even better, if the guy ahead of you is employing this strategy, help him out by following along and wandering just a bit further to the right. Two cars doing this will effectively block the progress of the morons.

Scott Drummond 7 years, 8 months ago

Nothing self righteous, at all. Preventing the lane cutters allows traffic to flow at a higher speed. "Late mergers" charge to the front of the line and cut in which requires braking, which then ripples back to create a larger slow down. In the absence of "late mergers" courteous merging takes place and there is less hard braking and less ripple back slowdown.

Zachary Stoltenberg 7 years, 8 months ago

Like I stated, try it. The speed of traffic ahead of you stays constant because no one has to slam on their breaks for someone cutting them off at the last minute. When you choose to drive past two miles of suggestion to merge, you put yourself at the mercy of those in the correct lane. It works, and I will continue to use it. Go police your Mercedes tsunami.

damnitimpissed 7 years, 8 months ago

How about instead of being a vigilante, you call and remind those in charge of the construction that they forgot to cone off the open lane?

You are a menace and a causer of road rage. Your behavior is destructive and dangerous. If the lane is open, it is illegal to block it, not to use it. Please get over yourself.

Zachary Stoltenberg 7 years, 8 months ago

Vigilante? Menace? I'm the one following the signs. Take note and drive accordingly...

damnitimpissed 7 years, 8 months ago

Actually, I do merge when I see signs. It's the people who merge way ahead of the signs that cause problems. Also, I don't force my way in; I leave my blinker on until someone lets me in. I don't "zoom" either. I am a very courteous driver. I may cuss a lot, and I do honk at deserving idiots on rare occasions, but I think it's stupid to do dangerous things to get even with someone who offended me in traffic. I think I've given someone the finger once or twice in my ten years of driving. And yet, when I dare use the open lane to avoid causing congestion, I get flipped off and lane-straddled by, I'm guessing, you people.

People need to relax. There are more important things to rage about than logical mergers.

jafs 7 years, 8 months ago

If you merge when you see signs, you wouldn't be waiting until the last minute.

WHY 7 years, 8 months ago

If both lanes are used no one can zip ahead. If people in the correct lane were not mad at those of us who used common sense and skipped a mile backup and drove in the open lane we would not play chicken and slow the line down. People who block the open lane with their vehicle because of some misplace form of righteous indignation at normal people with common sense should have their cars taken away.

Scott Drummond 7 years, 8 months ago

The people who should be ticketed are those who have disobeyed the traffic sign instructing them to merge. If they did so within a reasonable stretch after the instructive highway sign, then all of the merging would take place well in advance of the construction zone. This increases highway safety and, no doubt, is the reason for the signage well in advance of the construction zone. By ignoring the merge signs and charging to the head of the line they cause braking and unnecessary slowing by lawful citizens and soon enough traffic at a dead stop at the start of the construction zone. This in turn leads more selfish drivers to attempt to cheat the line and creates more braking and more stopping and more delay. More of a focus on the illegal line cutting is what is needed. Perhaps cops could suspend their important seat belt enforcement efforts on behalf of the insurance industry and engage in this useful enforcement activity.

notajayhawk 7 years, 8 months ago

The Missouri highway patrol tried that once, in a crackdown of 'aggressive driving' just south of the I-29/I-35 junction. Of course, it was the gaggle of police cars pulling people over that caused the slowdown in the first place, but that's besides the point. They wrote something over 100 tickets that day - all of which were thrown out, because it turns out there was no law against it. The statute they cited on the tickets has to do with making unsafe lane changes, but it does not specifically say anything about "cutting in", which is what the police had also written on the citations.

Scott Drummond 7 years, 8 months ago

It's not that they will get somewhere sooner, it is the sense of entitlement that they are more important than everyone else, don't have to obey traffic warnings and are not required to engage in the civility that makes it possible to live in a society. 90% of driver obey traffic signs and traffic flows, a small percentage of idiots don't and create havoc. As I mentioned above, this doesn't only happen in traffic, but is indicative of a selfish overall mentality.

WHY 7 years, 8 months ago

What would be even more selfish is if and individual after reading an article disproving his view of the world held on to that view forcing everyone to do things the slow way. Did you even read the headline. Calm Down.

notajayhawk 7 years, 8 months ago

I think we found one of your 'other 10 percent', scott.

WHY 7 years, 8 months ago

Apparently we speed up the road for all of you slowpokes, no thanks necessary. You should read the article then post.

WHY 7 years, 8 months ago

Yes if scientist did a study that said grass grows on Mars I would believe it. If a cheeseburger told me about common sense I might doubt it.

walkthehawk 7 years, 8 months ago

here's the issue: in the study as well as the book, what worked was encouraging people to use both lanes right up until the merge point, and then to TAKE TURNS MERGING. That drastically cut times waiting in line over ...the typical situation (use one lane primarily and account for lane-jumpers.) I have seen the recommended strategy in action (with a flashing sign--take turns merging--in place by the DOT). It is amazing--I have been frustrated ever since to have never seen this lack of foresight again. It totally cuts off (no pun intended) the incentive to jump in front of others and, more relevantly, kept traffic flowing at a constant rate of speed--no waiting.

What this study does NOT say, and I think it is irresponsible to market it the way that they are, is that lane jumping in the absence of an official merging plan helps anything. on the contrary, use of one lane combined with free-rider lane jumping is exactly what happens in the status quo--and we all know it doesn't work. Just to be clear. :)

notajayhawk 7 years, 8 months ago

Good post.

Unfortunately, even with such a strategy or mechanism in place, there will always be the entitled ones who screw up the pattern - the ones that feel since a tractor-trailer is so long and takes a while to get rolling, it's okay for 5 or 6 cars to jump in front of it (and then complain the truck driver is tailgating them), the ones that think since they're in a smaller, more maneuverable vehicle, they can squeeze in out of turn, the ones that believe they've waited long enough and they just aren't going to let another car get in front of them.

David Roberts 7 years, 8 months ago

I hope all the late-mergers who read this don't use it to justify their selfish behavior. I've not encountered a work zone with signage such as that described in the article, but if there were signs posted that clearly indicated that drivers were to stay in their lane and that merging would take place at a single point, no one would be cheating (assuming drivers actually took turns at the merge point.

Note to KS Dept of Transportation. This idea seems to make sense, but with the way you set up work zones, it is not currently SOP here. If you like this idea and want to implement it, then mark it appropriately. In the meantime, those who pass by 100 or 150 cars to merge early (except for emergency vehicles--of course) should be subject to ticketing.

The thing that I hate about how this article is written is that it takes a system in which both lanes are used--where no one is cheated, or has to wait longer that the vehicle in the next lane--and applies it to a situation that doesn't yet exist here.

David Roberts 7 years, 8 months ago

should read: ...those who pass by 100 or 150 cars to merge at the last moment (except for emergency vehicles--of course) should be subject to ticketing.

deec 7 years, 8 months ago

I was in a funeral procession a couple of years ago driving from Bonner Springs to the military cemetary in Lansing. Highway 7 was being worked on and traffic was merging from 2 lanes into one. Until the wonderful dump truck driver stopped dead and blocked the point of merger,we had multiple vehicles speed to that point and cut into the funeral line. Thank you to that trucker, whoever he/she was.

WHY 7 years, 8 months ago

I always pull over and out of the way for funeral processions (one of the duties we owe our fellow man), but it is harder to tell when one is coming now days. It used to be that funeral processions could be identified by everyone driving with their headlights on during daytime, but now everyone drives with their lights on during the day. We need a new cultural signal.

deec 7 years, 8 months ago

Thank you for pulling over. My daughter and I were discussing this very topic last week in the funeral procession for yet another uncle. All the cars had their headlights and emergency flashers on, and no one cut in. However,very few cars pulled over. I don't know if its lack of education or lack of respect. I pull over for others' funerals as well. The way I see it, this is the only parade in our honor most of us will ever get.

Katara 7 years, 8 months ago

There are some places that have cars at the first & the last position of the procession that have a sign on them that indicates it is a funeral escort. I hadn't seen it before but one day, while in Topeka, I saw one and thought it a good idea, especially since cars today are made to have their lights on at all times.

possumhauler 7 years, 8 months ago

I wish there was a national standard for work zones. PA encourages using both lanes & merging when signs instruct to do so in an alternating fashion. Utilizing fairness & initially was strictly enforced. It worked well. Other states urge merging early to avoid the last minute crunch, also was strongly enforced initially, as in OK., & never worked to well. Always late mergers at either last point of merge or as soon as state trooper was spotted. WVa. has done the best in my opinion. Ample advance signs warns of construction, instructs when & how to merge, & then the additional signs that warn ANY violation to follow sign instruction begins with $200 fine AND 30 days in jail, no exception. For those drivers that can read, it really encourages polite & safe driving in & near work zones protecting drivers & construction personnel. This too is strictly enforced. I'm a trucker. I run everywhere. I see the problems described & the "skewed" studies presented. I don't agree with my fellow truckers blocking traffic, or the "late merger". I have found if I leave room for you, in congested areas, other drivers will witness this & will also make room for me in a timely fashion when I signal what my intention is & don't try to crowd in. Mandatory inconveinient jail time, with a fine will & does saves lives in work zones. Thanks, & may your travels be safe & enjoyable.

H8Midwest 7 years, 8 months ago

You slow, rude Midwesterners are the problem!! If there is an open lane use it! it's not rocket science. Only here in the slow, country bumpkin Midwest are there 300 cars in a single file line and a completely open lane. use both lanes. You claim to be friendly here in the Midwest but then when I cruise through in the open lane people are flicking me off, pulling out in front off me with the hopes I won't go around them, etc. This crap doesn't happen in Miami, Chicago, New York, Dallas, etc. We are not late mergers! We are simply using both available open lanes that you are not!

Scott Drummond 7 years, 8 months ago

In violation of the merge instructions on the traffic signs. Who's the problem?

notajayhawk 7 years, 8 months ago

So you think it's rude to merge early and maintain the order they were already traveling in, but polite to come along late and pass all those cars that were ahead of you, making them slow down even more? Perhaps if it wasn't for dipsticks doing what you're advocating, there wouldn't have been a slowdown in the first place.

There's a reason people are flicking you off, H8. And while I haven't spent much time in some of those cities, I can assure you that you're seriously deluded, or just full of cr*p, claiming it doesn't happen that way in New York.

But hey, feel free to stay in those cities. Pretty sure we "rude Midwesterners" will be saddened by the loss, but we'll get over it.

H8Midwest 7 years, 8 months ago

I think it's stupid to merge early not rude. If theres a completely open lane where i can fly by at 60 mph and one at a literal standstill than I think you're stupid and dumb to be in that lane, not rude. Rude occurs when i fly by in a completely open and legal lane and than I am assertive enough to squeeze in and you flick me off. Listen, if you wanna sit in a stopped lane like a good passive Midwesterner than so be it - but don't be mad at me for having common sense and being street savvy. Seriously, if you wanna sit there thats fine; just be respectful to me for being smarter.

notajayhawk 7 years, 8 months ago

"Smarter", H8? Maybe, if by "smarter" you mean 'boorish clod'.

If you were truly "smarter", H8 - for that matter, if you had the brains god gave a goldfish - you'd be capable of understanding that the major reason traffic is stopped in those other lanes is precisely because idiots like you "fly by" and cut in up ahead, causing everyone else to slow down or hit their brakes, or at the very least, delaying them from starting up. The fact that you are the cause of the problem does not justify your self-centered 'solution' to the problem.

David Roberts 7 years, 8 months ago

"...when i fly by in a completely open and legal lane and than I am assertive enough to squeeze in..."

Perhaps a traffic engineer or someone in law enforcement could enlighten us, but I don't believe the behavior you describe is legal. Either the traffic signs (including those that state "No passing") are mere suggestions or the behavior you describe is technically a violation of a driving regulation.

Personally I don't care whether one lane or two, but it needs to be clearly marked one way or the other. In any event, the behavior you described would NEVER be acceptable. If the KS Dept of Transportation, for example, decided to go to the two lane approach, you wouldn't be passing anyone because everyone ahead of you would still be in the same lane. You wouldn't have the opportunity to pass anyone.

Face it, you are just trying to justify your behavior by saying you are "smarter", but most of the rest of us see value in at least choosing to act with respect for our fellow drivers.

imastinker 7 years, 8 months ago

I've got the better part of half a million miles under my belt and spent a fair amount of time in construction zones. Nearly every one that I am in moves very slowly until you are down to one lane and all cars are moving the same speed. They move very slowly because the holdup is the point at which it goes to one lane and everyone has to get in one lane. It would, IMHO, be better if everyone merged well before the construction zone at speed.

THis may not be possible, because people not familiar with the area don't know about the cosntruction and often times it's confusing the first time through. I have been that late merger more times than I care to admit (on accident).

gl0ck0wn3r 7 years, 8 months ago

Perhaps a roundabout would solve the problem! Quick, get the traffic advisory board on it and they'll turn it into a multi-million dollar project.

delta77 7 years, 8 months ago

The main advantage to using the "zipper" late merge approach (summary: use both lanes during backups and take turns at the merge point) is to reduce road rage of the type that you amateur traffic cop commenters perpetuate. In a construction zone where the number of cars trying to get through exceeds capacity, there is going to be a backup. Where people merge will make little difference in anything except the amount of time they have to wait.

Lindsey Buscher 7 years, 8 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

WHY 7 years, 8 months ago

Excellent point. We should be encouraging the knuckle heads to merge early to get them out of our way. That way we smart people can get ahead. Please everyone Merge Immediately, preferably a mile or two in advance. THANKS>

brother_cumulus 7 years, 8 months ago

Try to merge into the lane you we're supposed to be in 2 miles ago...I would rather ram your car than let you cut me off. Try it! It may not be me but someone will light you up when you try to pull that crap, if you keep it up!

WHY 7 years, 8 months ago

Ok by me I could use the insurance money from my hurt neck to pay for a few weeks of vacation. Hope you have full coverage.

deec 7 years, 8 months ago

I imagine the person attempting to change lanes would be deeemed at fault, rather than the person already in the lane. So I would think you'd be paying for your own vacation.

WHY 7 years, 8 months ago

No chance, I will cut in front and the jerk from behind will rear end me. You try telling a police officer or judge that you hit the back of another car without following to closely. I will cry all the way to the bank.

notajayhawk 7 years, 8 months ago

At least you're willing to admit that your 'right' to cut ahead of the line has nothing to do with keeping traffic flowing, you only do it because you're a self-centered moron with a huge sense of entitlement.

WHY 7 years, 8 months ago

You should go to law school. You would get straight A's.

Scott Drummond 7 years, 8 months ago

So your approach is to disobey the traffic signs and count on the goodwill of others to allow you to cut the line. A level of goodwill, by the way, that you refuse to extend to others by imposing yourself to the front of the line.

WHY 7 years, 8 months ago

I always allow the car next to me to merge in line. That is how merging works. Did none of you read the headline. Calm down.

notajayhawk 7 years, 8 months ago

Looks like we found another of your 'other 10 percent', scott.

WHY 7 years, 8 months ago

I appreciate the 90% of you not reading the article and clutching to your single file traffic. It makes life for me easy.

WHY 7 years, 8 months ago

I'm not sure why you are here but it is nice of you to stay out of the way.

SeaBee 7 years, 8 months ago

Well don't try and cut in front of me, numbnuts.

There won't be 2 feet between me and the car in front.

Enjoy the wait, and have a good day.

WHY 7 years, 8 months ago

I wouldn't cut in line if it didn't work. If you are that guy who won't let people in the guy if front or behind you is a nice guy who got in line 2 hours earlier just so I could go by. He will let me over and I will smile at you as I drive. You will be angry and I will be listening to my favorite song and slowly thumping my head back and forth to the beat, while your blood pressure goes through the roof shortening you life a days while my relaxing ways calm my soul here on earth and in my old age I will look back on all of you the kind who let me cut and the snarly little angry ones who honked and tailgated to keep me out and I sip my lemonade and lay back in my chair with a smile on my face for a life well lived.

jafs 7 years, 8 months ago

If you really do demonstrate the attitude that you're expressing here generally in your life, I'm sure that you'll do it around the wrong person someday and they'll teach you a lesson you won't forget.

notajayhawk 7 years, 8 months ago

"I wouldn't cut in line if it didn't work."

Should read, "... if it didn't work - for ME. Scr*w everyone else."

I'm beginning to wonder if you're really serious or just deliberately being a jack*** to stir things up. If it's the former, though, I should point out that self-centered slime such as you're portraying yourself would be sipping that lemonade all alone, since every human being that has had the misfortune to cross paths with them in life hates their guts.

Kris_H 7 years, 8 months ago

Whichever way it's done, if people don't allow others to merge in when they rightfully need to, it won't work. I've been stuck trying to merge in for varying lengths of time, and yes, I was paying attention to the traffic signs but wasn't familiar with the areas so I didn't know I probably should have kept left five miles back so as to be in the "correct" lane. Then the self-righteous prigs in that lane did not want me to merge in.

Just give a little, it doesn't really cost anything and saves everyone a whole lot of aggravation. And don't drive slowly in the far left lane, and don't pass me on the right. Them's mah rulz. :)

nanmo 7 years, 8 months ago

Would like to know more about the actual research before I trust the results.

beatrice 7 years, 8 months ago

Everyone agrees that two lanes move more quickly than one. Thus, drive in two lanes when there are two lanes available to drive in. Merge when the lane merges into one. Merging well before that time when the lanes merge into one means slower, single-lane traffic for a longer period of time. That is just common sense. Attempting to hog two lanes at once in an attempt to block people from rightfully driving in a second lane is risking an accident in order to prove your point that you are willing to wait in a line. That isn't worth it, in my opinion.

If anyone is upset about this idea, I just wonder, do you also automatically stand in a long line at the grocery store and think people are "cheating" or being "rude" if they walk up and get in a short line nearby? Or should they stand behind you in the longer line to be polite?

beatrice 7 years, 8 months ago

I absolutely agree. This is why clerks will often take the cart of the next in line and move it to their line to avoid such things from happening.

WHY 7 years, 8 months ago

What would be even stranger is if there were two open lanes but every one lined up in one line and yelled at the person who used the open lane.

Lindsey Buscher 7 years, 8 months ago

"I would rather ram your car than let you cut me off." = road rage.

late merge = creativity.

notajayhawk 7 years, 8 months ago

"late merge = creativity."

If you're creating a self-centered cretin.

Bill Lee 7 years, 8 months ago

Most signs say "Merge ahead," not "Merge now!" It's simple math, people, or didn't you take that in school?

notajayhawk 7 years, 8 months ago

There are also signs that say road ends ahead. Is it your contention that people should wait 'til they get to that point before hitting the brakes?

windjammer 7 years, 8 months ago

These men were paid BIG BUCKS to make this survey. Next they will probably try to tell us that all drivers will take turns at merge point. I say merge early and let the truckers take care of the open lane.

independant1 7 years, 8 months ago

Left Lane Closed Ahead 1 mile

Left Lane Closed ahead 1500 Ft

Do Not Pass


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