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Old 05-20-2008, 10:49 AM   #21
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One more comment regarding efficiency of the "use both lanes, then alternate merge" argument. On a crowded highway, it's better to have one merge point than multiple random merge points wherever people decide to cut in. And the only rational merge point to use is where the one lane ends (or at the "merge now" sign, if there is one, which is usually just before this point).
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Old 05-20-2008, 10:51 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by jIMOh View Post
I slow down with my 4x4 in the lane which is being lost, forcing traffic to merge as far back as possible. Then the traffic in front of me can move, creating space for me to merge.

YES- that SOB which cut you off was me.
If they wanted the lane to close where you choose to close it by interfering with traffic, they would have moved the cones to that spot instead. Who are you to determine what is best for others?
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Old 05-20-2008, 10:53 AM   #23
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In practice, we have a mixture of folks. Some merge as soon as they can see that they need to; these folks slow down, signal, and are usually let into the remaining lane reasonably quickly. Then there's the "rude" folks who will take advantage of the empty lane; these folks may signal but they also generally will try to cut in and usually get away with it. This still bugs me but I'm working on letting it go.

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Yep, that is me, I'm working on letting it go. I used to get insanely angry if I stayed in the "good" lane on my commute home (a bridge where the road goes from two to one lane each way that is always backed up in the afternoons), watching all the rude folks zip by and refusing to let them in (pretty aggressively, no passive here), then I tried being the "rude" folk instead, which was even more anxiety producing...so now? I don't go that way home, I take another route that happens to include the gym. I work out for a while, and by the time I'm out of there, there is no rush hour traffic left. Probably saved me from beating the #$%^ out of someone with a tire iron, seriously.
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Old 05-20-2008, 11:10 AM   #24
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Interesting reactions. I too get irritated at people who try to "merge" at the last minute into a backed up exit lane. To me, these people are clearly taking advantage of the rest of us. This is not a forced merge - it is a choice to join or not join the people exiting. On the other hand, I also get irritated at people who slow down, blocking traffic to "merge early" when lanes are truly joining in a forced merge (not an exit line). I believe you are supposed to merge where the lanes merge. It simply doesn't make sense to leave a half mile of empty lane to start the jam early. I see this as using the available space to best advantage - not cheating.
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Old 05-20-2008, 11:25 AM   #25
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holy moly - i had no idea there were such concrete rules to merging! being in socal - there is always traffic, construction etc going on so this is happening all the time - yet it seems from this thread - with much more chaos and little civility.

I always thought merging early was logical and more convenient - rather than backing up at the end point - i had no idea others thought this was cutting - rather the people waiting until the end or zipping past the crawling "through" lane were the jerks?

i usually try to get over as soon as i see there is some merging necessary up ahead...

people won't even let you in whatever point down here anyway - even if you've been signalling and have half your bumper in the lane - you have nudge your way in...it's awful!
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Old 05-20-2008, 12:07 PM   #26
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people won't even let you in whatever point down here anyway - even if you've been signalling and have half your bumper in the lane - you have nudge your way in...it's awful!
I used to drive a cab so I find this amusing rather than stressful. I do worry about road rage from some of the people who believe that God has ordained merging early as a better practice than merging at the merge point.
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Old 05-20-2008, 12:58 PM   #27
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I do worry about road rage from some of the people who believe that God has ordained merging early as a better practice than merging at the merge point.
That sums it up well.

Merging early to prevent a backup is great. When it starts to fail, and traffic begins to back up, God has ordained that merging late is the preferred practice.

Some of the more self-righteous don't pickup on the switch, and get pretty hot about it.
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Old 05-20-2008, 01:04 PM   #28
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That sums it up well.

Merging early to prevent a backup is great. When it starts to fail, and traffic begins to back up, God has ordained that merging late is the preferred practice.

Some of the more self-righteous don't pickup on the switch, and get pretty hot about it.
How about merging a quarter of a mile after the end of the lane? Those are the only ones I used to get hot about... but if God ordained it, then I guess I don't care either.
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Old 05-20-2008, 02:00 PM   #29
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When traffic in the through lane is stopped dead and traffic is wide open and flying in the merging lane for a couple of miles, I'm pulling into the merging lane. Usually there is some overly kind soul who has stopped the through lane to let ALL the merging people in front of him or her, or some slow driver who is maintaining a ridiculously long interval ahead. And I know because I have ridden with this person.

It seems to me that the merge point is where the merging should be done. Otherwise the traffic engineers would move it to an earlier point.
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Old 05-20-2008, 02:05 PM   #30
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I bet there's a traffic engineer out there right now laughing at all you laymen trying to decipher this problem!
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Old 05-20-2008, 02:06 PM   #31
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How To Merge Into Traffic - How to Guides - DMV.ORG

Young Drivers Guide to Freeway Driving

How to Merge Onto the Highway Without Crashing - wikiHow (the title really sells this one!)
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Old 05-20-2008, 02:17 PM   #32
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None of those links cover the topic of the thread, which is traffic merging when a lane is closed ahead (not merging onto a freeway).
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Old 05-20-2008, 02:23 PM   #33
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None of those links cover the topic of the thread, which is traffic merging when a lane is closed ahead (not merging onto a freeway).
You didn't chuckle at an article on how to merge without crashing? Ouch.

How about a great editorial rant on the subject?

Bostonist: Bostonist Rant: How to Merge

Or a research paper on merging?

ConnDOT: ConnDOT Research - Experimental Alternative Highway Merge Sign
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Old 05-20-2008, 02:28 PM   #34
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The funny thing about that Bostonist Rant is that he shows the picture of how it ought to happen ("zipper" merge, everyone alternating at the end point), but he did it the total opposite way, merging at a random early point.
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Old 05-20-2008, 02:30 PM   #35
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None of those links cover the topic of the thread, which is traffic merging when a lane is closed ahead (not merging onto a freeway).
Yes indeed.
Accessing and exiting from a freeway is a whole different set of rules where the merger has the responsibility to prevent accidents and ensure through flow of freeway traffic.

In fact, California has the right idea with their stop lights to control access to the merging lanes so as not to impede freeway flow. A simple yet effective idea. Whenever I encounter plugged freeways elsewhere, I always wish they were as smart as the California traffic engineers.

Of course their efficiency has contributed to excessive loading of all their freeways. Suddenly they are more like merges at rush hour.
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Old 05-20-2008, 03:11 PM   #36
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If God had anything to do with it, wouldn't the traffic part, like the Red Sea...
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Old 05-20-2008, 03:14 PM   #37
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If God had anything to do with it, wouldn't the traffic part, like the Red Sea...
Traffic is His punishment for our sins.

(By the way, this is the first time I have ever mixed theological thought with traffic engineering thought)
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Old 05-20-2008, 03:18 PM   #38
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Traffic is His punishment for our sins.

(By the way, this is the first time I have ever mixed theological thought with traffic engineering thought)
We must've done something to really tick him off, then...

I rarely have a theological thought, and only think about traffic when forced to...
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Old 05-20-2008, 03:18 PM   #39
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Lived in North Florida (referred to as South Georgia). Never heard of that law and in practice it was a "war" to get through before the other guy/gal. We even had idiots actually shooting at each other during rush hour traffic through Orange Park FL for a while.
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Old 05-20-2008, 03:31 PM   #40
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Lived in North Florida (referred to as South Georgia). Never heard of that law and in practice it was a "war" to get through before the other guy/gal. We even had idiots actually shooting at each other during rush hour traffic through Orange Park FL for a while.
Too many crime shows on TV. Gotta get back to "Little House on the Prairie" type shows to restore family values...
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