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Old 09-07-2010, 06:34 AM   #57
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You probably won't like what I think, but I understand full well why the big rigs do it. One of my pet peeves is to be in the correct lane for the construction merge, for a freeway exit, etc. and to crawl along for minutes while others who know that their lane is ending or that they're in the wrong lane for the exit they're going to take want to scream by in the left lane and then cut in line at the last minute. Sorry, Charlie - no way!!! My time is just as valuable as yours, and you can danged well wait in line with the rest of us peons. Try cutting in line like that at Kroger's or Home Depot and let me know how it works out!!

Rusty

Ditto. And, the traffic flow is ultimately much less by those who bypass the queue and then merge at the last minute. Even the one lane that is open would probably move smoothly at 40-45 mph if there weren't these folks passing in the lane that was closing and then causing everyone else to "let them in" at the last minute. That sort of behavior causes the open lane to crawl at 20 mph or less instead.
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Old 09-07-2010, 09:44 AM   #58
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The lane cutters are the same ones who will drive over the grass next to a freeway to get to the service road, trying to bypass the expressway stopping for an accident. I've seen 20 cars try to do that all at once. I've also seen them bang into one another in the process or get hung up in the mud or the deep part of the ditch . Then, I just sit there and laugh.

My guess is that those same people are the tailgaters and those going 20mph above the speed limit. They say that 1% of criminals do 80% of the crimes. I believe that there are traffic recidivists, too. No many how many citations they have to pay for, they are right back on the highways, doing the same things over and over again. Some of them admit that they view paying for citations as just the "cost of doing business."
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Old 09-08-2010, 10:12 AM   #59
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Ditto. And, the traffic flow is ultimately much less by those who bypass the queue and then merge at the last minute. Even the one lane that is open would probably move smoothly at 40-45 mph if there weren't these folks passing in the lane that was closing and then causing everyone else to "let them in" at the last minute. That sort of behavior causes the open lane to crawl at 20 mph or less instead.
OK, I'll put on my flameproof suit and say ...

The way I look at it, the problem isn't the so-called "lane cutters" (those who stay in the disappearing lane until it ends, then want to merge in), but rather the self-appointed "merge police" who CHOOSE to move over early (1/2 mile ahead, or whatever), and then insist that everyone else should honor THEIR chosen merge point. (This is assuming slow, bumper-to-bumper traffic, which is the only time it's a problem. If traffic is moving well, then merging smoothly ahead of the lane reduction works for everybody.)

Any traffic engineer will tell you (and thankfully there are signs on some roads to make this clear) that the best solution to the problem is the "zipper" method, where everyone goes in their lane up to the point where a lane disappears, and then takes turns between the two lanes. The problem arises from simple human nature -- absent a prescribed get-over point, some people will choose to go earlier, others later, and neither one is "wrong." But, again because of human nature, those who got over early will be upset that others didn't, and then we get a mess of random lane-blocking, driving on shoulders, finger-waving, etc.

Life (and traffic) would be much easier if we all just followed the rules, and didn't make up our own, then expect others to follow them.
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Old 09-08-2010, 10:29 AM   #60
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what really is making me mad is on the interstate when there is construction, two tractor trailers are blocking both lanes of the road miles before the merge. They actually slow when down and just poke along. I've called the state police and they said to call when it is happening. You'll have to go to court. It's like they are saying that there is nothing else that can be done. What do you think?

If they're keeping up with the traffic in front of them (and that doesn't mean tailgating), they are not hurting anyone except those who want to weave in and out to gain a few spaces.
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Old 09-08-2010, 11:19 AM   #61
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OK, I'll put on my flameproof suit and say ...

The way I look at it, the problem isn't the so-called "lane cutters" (those who stay in the disappearing lane until it ends, then want to merge in), but rather the self-appointed "merge police" who CHOOSE to move over early (1/2 mile ahead, or whatever), and then insist that everyone else should honor THEIR chosen merge point. (This is assuming slow, bumper-to-bumper traffic, which is the only time it's a problem. If traffic is moving well, then merging smoothly ahead of the lane reduction works for everybody.)

Any traffic engineer will tell you (and thankfully there are signs on some roads to make this clear) that the best solution to the problem is the "zipper" method, where everyone goes in their lane up to the point where a lane disappears, and then takes turns between the two lanes. The problem arises from simple human nature -- absent a prescribed get-over point, some people will choose to go earlier, others later, and neither one is "wrong." But, again because of human nature, those who got over early will be upset that others didn't, and then we get a mess of random lane-blocking, driving on shoulders, finger-waving, etc.

Life (and traffic) would be much easier if we all just followed the rules, and didn't make up our own, then expect others to follow them.

Mike,

No flame, just counterpoint . . . I don't know where you're from, but "merge police" who CHOOSE to move over early (1/2 mile ahead, or whatever) isn't the problem here in the northeast, it's those who feel entitled to use the merge to gain 1, 2, 5, 10 or even 20 spaces in line. I'm not against "merging smoothly", it's just that when the merge point is in sight, the majority of those in your lane have/are merging and you chose to stay in the disappearing lane (and frequently swerve into the breakdown lane to pass the guy directly in front of you) to gain a few more spaces, then force yourself in . . . you are not "merging smoothly".

As to your "zipper" analogy . . . when your zipper jams, do you encourage your slower teeth on the right to mind their own business and let that faster tooth on the left cut in??

"Life (and traffic) would be much easier if we all just followed the rules, and didn't make up our own, then expect others to follow them."

How 'bout we follow the "golden rule" that most of us learned in kindergarten??

My suggestion to you . . . try merging early the next few times you are in this situation and then let us know how you feel about the so-called "lane cutters" (those who stay in the disappearing lane until it ends, then want to merge in).

-Ken
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Old 09-08-2010, 12:53 PM   #62
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Mike,

No flame, just counterpoint . . . I don't know where you're from, but "merge police" who CHOOSE to move over early (1/2 mile ahead, or whatever) isn't the problem here in the northeast, it's those who feel entitled to use the merge to gain 1, 2, 5, 10 or even 20 spaces in line. I'm not against "merging smoothly", it's just that when the merge point is in sight, the majority of those in your lane have/are merging and you chose to stay in the disappearing lane (and frequently swerve into the breakdown lane to pass the guy directly in front of you) to gain a few more spaces, then force yourself in . . . you are not "merging smoothly".

As to your "zipper" analogy . . . when your zipper jams, do you encourage your slower teeth on the right to mind their own business and let that faster tooth on the left cut in??

"Life (and traffic) would be much easier if we all just followed the rules, and didn't make up our own, then expect others to follow them."

How 'bout we follow the "golden rule" that most of us learned in kindergarten??

My suggestion to you . . . try merging early the next few times you are in this situation and then let us know how you feel about the so-called "lane cutters" (those who stay in the disappearing lane until it ends, then want to merge in).

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Old 09-08-2010, 02:48 PM   #63
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OK, I wasn't expecting to convince you, but I'll try one more thought:

No matter what you do, there will always be those who try to, in your eyes, "cut to the front of the line." You can't change them, all you're choosing to do is fight with them. But what if, instead, we all merged where the lane ends, taking turns? No one would be able to cut in, so no one would have to get mad.

You mocked the "zipper" analogy, but it truly is applicable -- the zipper's teeth merge one at a time, taking turns, at the last moment when it's time to merge. Generally, none of the teeth take it on themselves to decide to merge earlier, then try to force the other teeth to go along with them.

And, believe it or not, I'm not a lane cutter (unless I screw up, which does happen, then I get in the line as soon as I can). But as I sit in line seething, watching the guy in front of me let everybody in (grrr), I muse about how much better it would be if everyone just went all the way to the front and took turns.
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Old 09-08-2010, 03:22 PM   #64
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Crabby Mike I agree with you, it would be much more orderly and fair, the fact that you happen to be in the lane that is closed should not result in your being delayed more than others and the fact that you happen to be in the lane that was not closed does not and should not give you preference.
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Old 09-08-2010, 07:37 PM   #65
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Next time I'm in the multiple lane into one situation I think I'll try the "zipper method". I'll stay in the closed lane until the last moment, maintaining speed with those in the open lane of course. Because we all know that much faster traffic mixed with slow traffic is dangerous.Thanks for the idea crabby mike.
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Old 09-09-2010, 07:15 AM   #66
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Next time I'm in the multiple lane into one situation I think I'll try the "zipper method". I'll stay in the closed lane until the last moment, maintaining speed with those in the open lane of course. Because we all know that much faster traffic mixed with slow traffic is dangerous.Thanks for the idea crabby mike.

Kinda like the truck drivers were doing in the post that started this (sub)thread??
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Old 09-09-2010, 07:50 AM   #67
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OK, I wasn't expecting to convince you, but I'll try one more thought:

No matter what you do, there will always be those who try to, in your eyes, "cut to the front of the line." You can't change them, all you're choosing to do is fight with them. But what if, instead, we all merged where the lane ends, taking turns? No one would be able to cut in, so no one would have to get mad.

You mocked the "zipper" analogy, but it truly is applicable -- the zipper's teeth merge one at a time, taking turns, at the last moment when it's time to merge. Generally, none of the teeth take it on themselves to decide to merge earlier, then try to force the other teeth to go along with them.

And, believe it or not, I'm not a lane cutter (unless I screw up, which does happen, then I get in the line as soon as I can). But as I sit in line seething, watching the guy in front of me let everybody in (grrr), I muse about how much better it would be if everyone just went all the way to the front and took turns.
Mike,

Sorry if you took it as "mocking" . . . it sounds as our driving styles and frustrations are very similar!

Beating the zipper analogy to death . . . you could say that the truck drivers in the original post were the teeth just waiting their turn to get in their rightful place when the zipper pull (merge) came along.

IRL where just 2 lanes are merging, I think most drivers do a decent job . . . you are correct, there will always be those who attempt to cut ahead and some who chose to do battle to them . . . personally, I think that a 2 truck "rolling blockade" actually forces drivers behind them into merging more fairly.

On the other hand . . . I think the thing that got me going on your original comment was the "lane cutter" reference . . . the situation that I encounter more frequently is being in a fast(er) moving EXIT ONLY lane where traffic in adjacent lanes is backed up. What ticks me off is the true lane cutters who know that they are (and chose to be) in the wrong lane, but want to get as far ahead as possible . . . then slam on their brakes, clogging the exit only lane until someone lets them back into the traffic filled lane that they belonged in.

-Ken
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Old 09-09-2010, 07:59 AM   #68
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How about the people who apply the brakes to read signs, change lanes and dial the phone?

B.T.W. The cones and barrels are set up (on US, state and county roads) according to a plan developed by a person certified in work zone traffic control. Merging at the place indicated by the markings is what they intend. Forming one lane sooner impedes the flow of traffic upstream of the work zone warning signs and doesn't allow approaching traffic enough distance to slow sufficiently for safety. That's why the merge point should be determined by the indicating devices and not an arbitrary whim of drivers.

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Old 09-09-2010, 08:08 AM   #69
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..... and doesn't allow approaching traffic enough distance to slow sufficiently for safety.
Sorry, I'm not buying that when the same experts post signs such as "Left Lane Closed 5 Miles Ahead" 5 miles is PLENTY of time to get in the correct lane.

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Old 09-09-2010, 08:58 AM   #70
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Sorry, I'm not buying that when the same experts post signs such as "Left Lane Closed 5 Miles Ahead" 5 miles is PLENTY of time to get in the correct lane.

Rusty
With all due respect Mr. Moderator, please consider for a moment that you may be mistaken. It may seem courteous to allow people to get in line upstream but it is not always the best practice. Imagine 4 people sitting at a 4 way stop, each waving at the other to go ahead.

I am certified in Work Zone Traffic Control. The design is based on POTENTIAL traffic volume, speed and conditions and may seem over designed to some. The reason to merge at the indicated place is to keep the traffic in the right location. We can't just decide that some rules apply to us and some don't.

Obeying markings and traffic signals in work zones is just as important as any other rules of the road. So please drivers, use the lanes available to you. Merge where indicated, not before... or after!

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