Merging Debate - Feedback Friday

Summer is when it seems every route you take has some sort of construction blocking the way.  Busy schedules, combined with summer heat cause lots of frustration when it comes time to merge.

The folks waiting in line are upset that someone wants to cut in front of them.

The folks waiting to merge are upset no one will let them in.

It's a giant mess - both sides believe they are right and will defend their positions passionately:

"I paid attention to the signs and got over right away!" says one, as they block the lane of traffic to police the mergers.

"I think traffic will move more smoothly if we keep two lines of traffic to the merge point!" says the other, as they speed up and push in front of cars aggressively.

So, I Googled it and found this statement from Pa. Dept. of Transportation:

 In high traffic locations, motorists are encouraged to use both lanes of travel to the merge point. Once at the merge point, motorists are encouraged to take turns merging into the open lane and continue through the work zone. When motorists cooperate and use the late merge system, it will create a zipper like effect with traffic which will reduce the length of the queue, allow traffic to move more fluidly and also prevent a lot of aggressive merging.

It's Feedback Friday...

Where do you stand on the merging debate when it comes to construction zones?



  1. i had never heard of that zipper thing until my 19 year old informed me. Makes sense. We all have someplace we have to be and spending a couple minutes haggling over who got over when makes no sense. It will only raise your BP and make you more stressed, which is no good while driving! Get there alive, with your car intact...

  2. I agree with the zipper effect. I think the main problem is that people don't really know how to merge. I see it all the time, not just in construction areas. Think of the freeway on ramp. The entering car is supposed to get up to the speed of the freeway traffic and merge in smoothly. But at the same time the freeway traffic is supposed to provide a place for the entering car to merge. This is a huge problem where I live because everyone wants to cut people off. It drives me crazy.

  3. Dept of Transportation in Pennsylvania should ask the local television stations to air that information as a public service announcement. What drives me crazy is the sign on highway that says lane ends and then the drivers continue to drive in that lane and try to PUSH into the correct lane. Wanna make me crazy? That will do it! Left lane for turns only? No problem. Drive like a maniac in the left turn lane and then just before the lane actually turns attempt to merge into the lane going straight. One day this will literally cause my head to explode.

  4. I'm with you Suzan. Another thing that will drive me nuts are those drivers using the shoulder as a lane to race ahead of the others who are jammed up in traffic due to construction, an accident etc.

  5. There was a big local news report on this very subject last summer. Now my husband always says "zipper merge people, zipper merge!" It really does make sense to go as far in your lane as possible to keep traffic moving. They also did a billboard campaign regarding it as well.

  6. How about the people who leave the right lane, to got to the merging lane so that they could cut ahead??? I cannot stand this, and yes, I have been know to stay very close to the car ahead of me so I won't let those people in...I know...but coming from Miami, and then Houston, you sort of learn to drive like a mad women.

  7. I don't wait until the last minute so to say by any means but I also do not merge right when I see the merge ahead signs. I used to but after many times of doing this and then merging not happening at all or before I needed to exit or turn which then resulted in me having to be the person trying to move over multiple lanes of traffic at the last minute I now try and wait until I notice actual lane closure ahead of me. I also always try and let cars in when merging into my lane is necessary.

  8. Merge at the merge point...like the sign says...
    If 2 lanes are open use them, then graciously take turns. It works.


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