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Old 05-22-2008, 12:17 AM   #61
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FUEGO's got the right answers. (Great find on the paper, by the way.)

Sarah, without knowing more about your particular "permanent" bottleneck I really can't say a whole lot about the situation. It may or may not be good engineering.

Although the maximum overall capacity in the corridor is constrained by the bottleneck, the upstream four lane road likely has safety and property access advantages that aren't as obvious as the peak period travel times. Also, there's the downstream network to consider...if the number of lanes on a segment of road doubles, sometimes the result is just a transfer of the peak hour queue to another location down the road a bit. If that's an area has greater density (more driveways, cross-streets, signals, turning movements, etc.) there could easily be an increase total delay for the overall network.

And, sometimes the roadbuilders just gotta do the best they can - where they can - with the dollars, real estate and political support that are available.
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Old 05-22-2008, 02:33 PM   #62
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Thanks, Harry, you nailed it. The bottleneck would just move further down if they expanded. I appreciate the traffic engineer perspective!
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Old 05-22-2008, 06:18 PM   #63
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Here in Michigan the State passed a law several years ago making it against the law to cut ahead of traffic that is merged ahead of the actual merge. I have seen the State Patrol set up teams to ticket speeders and people who cut in late. Nothing feels better than to pass some SOB who blew past everyone else who was following the law and see them pulled over...
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Old 05-22-2008, 07:12 PM   #64
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Here in Michigan the State passed a law several years ago making it against the law to cut ahead of traffic that is merged ahead of the actual merge. I have seen the State Patrol set up teams to ticket speeders and people who cut in late. Nothing feels better than to pass some SOB who blew past everyone else who was following the law and see them pulled over...
Seems like a good defense would be "I tried to adjust my speed and merge safely however I was unable to". Unless the charge is similar to a "reckless driving" violation that most states have on the books.

So, in practice, let's say you have signs that say to merge and they are 2 miles before the end of the lane that terminates. But the queue in the remaining through lane is 3 miles long. How do you go to the back of the 3 mile queue when you don't know you have to do so until you are a mile past the back of queue? Do you stop in the middle of the road next to the "merge 2 miles ahead" sign and wait for someone to let you in there? Just curious.
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Old 05-23-2008, 12:21 AM   #65
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Interesting Michigan merge laws (I'm sure every state has similar trials)

in 2001, sort of as Murg described ("no passing" in merge lane, basically--I don't see how anything other than the no-passing would be enforceable):
MDOT - I-96/M-6 interchange chosen for MDOT pilot project

and in 2005 the evils of the late merge are discussed:
http://www.michigan.gov/documents/MD...1_143494_7.pdf

but in 2006, the late merge is enforced (stay in your own lane until the merge point as traffic builds):
MDOT - "Dynamic late lane merge system" will be in effect on I-94 project in Van Buren County starting Monday, July 17
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Old 05-23-2008, 08:19 AM   #66
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I have seen the State Patrol set up teams to ticket speeders and people who cut in late. Nothing feels better than to pass some SOB who blew past everyone else who was following the law and see them pulled over...
When time permitted we'd do that at one notorious location where the left lane exited (and ended), and the other two kept on going to the often backed-up interstate. The exiting lane was repeatedly and clearly marked (LEFT LANE MUST EXIT) for a mile before but some people would go to the head of the line and cut in.

When one was pulled over, the cheers, thumbs-up signs, grins, and horn-blowing made it clear how the patient ones felt.
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Old 05-23-2008, 09:10 AM   #67
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In Dallas, people regularly use the service roads as an extra lane, clogging the entrance/exit ramps...
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