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Thread: "Zipper" merging needs improvement by the city.

  1. #1

    Lightbulb "Zipper" merging needs improvement by the city.

    This was on the news recently, about how you should drive to the END of a lane that is ending before merging when a road goes from 2 lanes into 1 lane. Here's the problem; PEOPLE. Nobody lets these people in, and the people in the ending lane end up almost stopped, or completely stopped, and unable to safely merge until the traffic has passed.

    This is not how it's supposed to work. Is it the drivers' fault? Partially, but the design of the road is also to blame (I'm NOT taking about closed lanes for construction here). For example, by having a right-hand lane end, it gives the people in the left lane the impression that those people on the right are trying to cut into THEIR lane that continues on. They sort of are, because technically they ARE changing lanes, and there is no law that outright says that you HAVE to let someone into your lane if they have their blinker on, and there isn't even a legit merge or yield sign, just a "lane ends" sign.

    This can all be solved though with a simple design in the road, or even just a change in the paint on the road. Many countries around the world have "proper" zipper lanes. I've driven in Europe where I've encountered these and it makes things so much easier and smoother. This is where BOTH lanes end, and there are arrows for both lanes pointing to the middle line. Then the middle white dashed line between lanes ends, and the lanes narrow together into one lane.

    Like you would expect from this sign:


    Now, BOTH lanes end and turn into one. One lane does not have to change into the other. You take turns like you're supposed to. People no longer feel like someone is cutting into "their" lane. The egos are no longer damaged.

    New Zealand signage ads on how to do it:


    I believe that if you keep the roads like they are, things will not change no matter how many times you advertise the right way to do it! Changing the design of the road, which is as simple as changing the paint and adding a new sign, will make a big difference.

    On a side-note, but still related to this kind of merging problem, are where 2 lanes immediately turn into 1 lane right after an intersection. I'm sure you've all seen it. Then the light turns green, and the people in front are drag racing to get to the merge point first and get ahead.

    I mean like this:



    Not the greatest picture but you get the idea. This is the intersection of Whitemud and Guardian Road on the west end if you want to check google maps for better detail. The 2 lanes headed west don't have much roadway after the intersection before the right lane ends (about 400 feet). There are other intersections where there's even less lane afterwards, usually because there is a bus stop, and it's only 1 or 2 bus lengths long. This would probably also benefit from a modern style of merging lane.

    Not only that, but I would also propose that the traffic BEFORE the intersection be brought down to one lane BEFORE the set of lights with a curb or barrier.
    Like so:


    It would probably be best to do this further ahead of the intersection, but bear with me in my example. I marked a red line where there would be a curb or barrier merging the traffic into one lane.

    Now you probably ask about how the zippering is more efficient and that going down to one lane before the intersection will be inefficient because less traffic can get through. That's not necessarily true, because it goes down to one lane right after the intersection anyways. So if traffic is flowing moderately, there's no difference. If traffic is bumper to bumper, then it really doesn't matter at all where it goes down to one lane because that single lane ahead is the bottleneck regardless.

    Putting that barrier will not prevent the northbound cars that are turning westbound in the double-left-turn lanes from turning. It will also still allow southbound cars that are turning westbound to merge in and have more opportunities to do so. What it will prevent again, is the drag racing.


    That was a bit long-winded, but, that's my thoughts. These lanes need to change. You can't just expect people to change, they won't. I think it's the city's responsibility to help make changes like this to not only help people to change their habits, but to make a process like this feel more natural.

    All it takes is a bit of paint.
    Last edited by alkeli; 12-01-2017 at 04:02 PM.

  2. #2

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    Excellent post. Thank you for the writeup and this should be forwarded to the AMA, the COE and Alberta Transportation.

    I still attest that the biggest delays in single lane traffic in construction zones, at accident sites and other restrictions are the rubber neckers, nervous nellies, slow pokes and distracted drivers who slow the rate of cars past any point.

    Case in point, I was in Georgia last month where they were paving a four lane interstate highway so one of the two west bound lanes was closed for about four miles. Traffic approaching the merge point was backed up a mile but surprisingly people were mostly zipper merging. But when some people were given a space to merge in, some would be too timid to move in quickly or were not paying attention. Then as they were in a single line that was a 30 mph construction zone, the driver about 8 cars in front of me was going 20 to 25 mph while the other cars further ahead were pulling away at about 35 mph. So after 4 miles, there was a huge separation between the block of cars now far ahead and our block of cars with the slow poke leading. Since this is a pet peave of mine i watched the front block way ahead go over a bridge at the bottom of a long hill more than a mile ahead. I looked at my watch and it took just over 3 minutes for our slow poke to reach the bridge. So if in traffic, a 2 second separation is the norm, that means in 3 minutes of no cars using that piece of lane, that is 90 cars that could have passed that point. That's 90 cars that were backed up before the construction zone.

    When the road widened out and frustrated drivers passed Mr. Slow poke, I went by him at about 65 mph on the 70 mph freeway and he was sill doing about 45 mph and a minute or two later he was just a speck in my rearview mirror. More than anything, these idiots slow traffic in construction zones more than anywhere else.

    Another case of ***** drivers was just yesterday. A guy my age driving a Subaru Outback was pulling into a busy gas station and I pulled up onto the other side of the pump. I am interested in asking him how he likes it while gassing up because I may buy one in a few months.

    I get out and begin pumping gas I noticed that he was not getting out and was busy texting or writing an email on his phone. Another guy pulled up behind him an waited for him. I finished fueling my car and even washed my windshield and the guy was still in his Subaru. I motioned to the guy behind him and put my fist to my ears to signal that the guy was wasting space. I moved my car to the has station store to buy a drink and the frustrated driver turned around backed into my spot. When I left the store, the guy in the Subaru was still in his car fiddling with his phone.

    Talk about the most ignorant driver who could have parked away from the pump but was too self involved to notice what an *** he was.
    Advocating a better Edmonton through effective, efficient and economical transit.

  3. #3

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    Excellent post. Thank you for the writeup and this should be forwarded to the AMA, the COE and Alberta Transportation.

    I still attest that the biggest delays in single lane traffic in construction zones, at accident sites and other restrictions are the rubber neckers, nervous nellies, slow pokes and distracted drivers who slow the rate of cars past any point.

    Case in point, I was in Georgia last month where they were paving a four lane interstate highway so one of the two west bound lanes was closed for about four miles. Traffic approaching the merge point was backed up a mile but surprisingly people were mostly zipper merging. But when some people were given a space to merge in, some would be too timid to move in quickly or were not paying attention. Then as they were in a single line that was a 30 mph construction zone, the driver about 8 cars in front of me was going 20 to 25 mph while the other cars further ahead were pulling away at about 35 mph. So after 4 miles, there was a huge separation between the block of cars now far ahead and our block of cars with the slow poke leading. Since this is a pet peave of mine i watched the front block way ahead go over a bridge at the bottom of a long hill more than a mile ahead. I looked at my watch and it took just over 3 minutes for our slow poke to reach the bridge. So if in traffic, a 2 second separation is the norm, that means in 3 minutes of no cars using that piece of lane, that is 90 cars that could have passed that point. That's 90 cars that were backed up before the construction zone.

    When the road widened out and frustrated drivers passed Mr. Slow poke, I went by him at about 65 mph on the 70 mph freeway and he was sill doing about 45 mph and a minute or two later he was just a speck in my rearview mirror. More than anything, these idiots slow traffic in construction zones more than any other cause IMHO.

    Another case of ***** drivers was just yesterday. A guy my age driving a Subaru Outback was pulling into a busy gas station and I pulled up onto the other side of the pump. I am interested in asking him how he likes it while gassing up because I may buy one in a few months.

    I get out and begin pumping gas I noticed that he was not getting out and was busy texting or writing an email on his phone. Another guy pulled up behind him an waited for him. I finished fueling my car and even washed my windshield and the guy was still in his Subaru. I motioned to the guy behind him and put my fist to my ears to signal that the guy was wasting space. I moved my car to the has station store to buy a drink and the frustrated driver turned around backed into my spot. When I left the store, the guy in the Subaru was still in his car fiddling with his phone.

    Talk about the most ignorant driver who could have parked away from the pump but was too self involved to notice what an asswhole he was.
    Advocating a better Edmonton through effective, efficient and economical transit.

  4. #4
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    I disagree with the OP's assertion that zippering should take place before the intersection. More cars can get through the intersection when there are two lanes of traffic than when there is only one lane. If you are going to go to one lane before the intersection why build build the road to two lane per side at all?

    I agree that the lane reductions should be made so that one lane doesn't have right of way over the other.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by SP59 View Post
    I disagree with the OP's assertion that zippering should take place before the intersection. More cars can get through the intersection when there are two lanes of traffic than when there is only one lane. If you are going to go to one lane before the intersection why build build the road to two lane per side at all?

    I agree that the lane reductions should be made so that one lane doesn't have right of way over the other.
    But when traffic is backed up, those 2 lanes can't continue anyways even if the light turns green because of the cars back up to the intersection, and you're not supposed to stop in an intersection in traffic and block it. This particular intersection is a perfect example where sometimes the light can turn green, and then red, and even with both lanes, zero cars could continue. Remember that there are the northbound cars in the double-left-turn-lane as well, so when a few of those get through and the light changes, only a couple of cars can cross coming from the east without blocking the intersection.

    In any given amount of time, only X amount of cars can enter that left westbound part of the intersection because of that one lane. So having it go to one lane before the intersection makes no difference. The majority of people will see or know about it ahead of time and go into the left lane way before the intersection anyways. All you end up with in the right lane are people who don't know, and those people who want to drag race to get to the front of the line in the left lane.

    Regardless, my original post's subject was about changing road design to allow zipper merging to happen more naturally. The "single lane before the intersection" part was just an additional side-note that should be examined with real-world testing instead of theoretical scenarios, because real-world scenarios take into account how the people actually drive, not how they're intended to, or supposed to. A real-world test could be to place a temporary barrier at one or two intersections like this and have it observed over a week or two, perhaps with the "car counter" black lines that go across the roads to get some samples of actual numbers.

  6. #6

  7. #7

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    EPRT - don't get a Subaru. I know good, smart people that bought them who immediately became useless idiots. I think brain damage comes standard with buying one.
    "Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction" - Blaise Pascal

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chmilz View Post
    EPRT - don't get a Subaru. I know good, smart people that bought them who immediately became useless idiots. I think brain damage comes standard with buying one.
    I sense a related story or two.

    I'm not really understanding the OP position on how the merge should occur before, rather than after an intersection. Still not clear on that.

    For instance traffic jams in Edmonton are most often created due to a combination of traffic load conditions and less than ideal traffic light settings. With the lights timing being an impediment and bottleneck to traffic throughput. To that end of course having the zipper AFTER the intersection makes much more sense.
    Last edited by Replacement; 13-01-2017 at 09:16 AM.
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  9. #9

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    Yes I'm aware of the ads, and this is why I'm posting. Other than construction zones, the roads should be changed to make zipper merging more natural and remove the aspect of having one lane end, forcing that traffic to move into another lane. That's my whole point.

  10. #10
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    The proper solution for Whitemud past the Henday would have been another 100 m of westbound lane so there would be no need for traffic to merge to a single lane before 215 St.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Titanium48 View Post
    The proper solution for Whitemud past the Henday would have been another 100 m of westbound lane so there would be no need for traffic to merge to a single lane before 215 St.
    True, but this was just an example intersection I picked. There are plenty like this where that wouldn't be an option, and also where that ending lane is much much shorter.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by SP59 View Post
    I disagree with the OP's assertion that zippering should take place before the intersection. More cars can get through the intersection when there are two lanes of traffic than when there is only one lane. If you are going to go to one lane before the intersection why build build the road to two lane per side at all?

    I agree that the lane reductions should be made so that one lane doesn't have right of way over the other.
    Just to add to this that regardless of signage the drivers familiar with the route, and that know other lanes are closing (and are positioned in the one that is not closing) will still probably have reluctance to allow merge and especially in winter driving conditions where frustration will occur due to merge point effectively stopping all lanes of traffic. Those drivers will still have a cognition of "why didn't the other drivers pre plan for their lane ending" Merge, zipper, etc works better in cities with ideal road conditions. It works less well in inclement road conditions where needed travelling distance is greater and where acceleration is not instant. The reality is that on winter roads a zipper becomes stuck. Thus zipper merging has largely failed in places like Minnesota.
    Last edited by Replacement; 13-01-2017 at 09:23 AM.
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  13. #13
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    ^That would not happen if the road lines and signs indicated a zipper merge, with both lanes ending at the choke point and neither having right of way. That is what should be done until the road gets widened like it should have been when the intersections were rebuilt to accommodate the development in that area.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Titanium48 View Post
    ^That would not happen if the road lines and signs indicated a zipper merge, with both lanes ending at the choke point and neither having right of way. That is what should be done until the road gets widened like it should have been when the intersections were rebuilt to accommodate the development in that area.
    For one thing road lines will be covered by road slush/snow thus rendering them sight unseen. Next, due to what I stated drivers that have correctly chosen the continue thru lane will exhibit less patience with drivers that are on the closing lanes. My comments are specific to winter driving conditions. The trouble, again, with using zipper in winter driving is the zipper gets stuck, all lanes slow to a crawl or stop entirely. With people in the thru lane even less happy having to merge when its the mergers who have in effect stopped all lanes and must then merge from a standing start.

    Compound this with Edmonton having unpredictable, and unskilled drives that don't know how to merge at speed in the first place and this is not going to be too successful.

    Just the other day saw a driver totally overwhelmed with road conditions that he merged onto Whitemud Freeway at 50km'hr. Unfortunately I was behind him. You have to watch those drivers too as they sometimes just stop hard not even comprehending they have a free merge lane and space.

    We have bad drivers here. Unfortunately road engineering always needs to take into account the lowest common denominator of drivers. With a large subset of drivers that can't even merge, or know what merge lanes are its problematic introducing this. We need better driver training here to be able to set the bar a bit higher.
    Last edited by Replacement; 13-01-2017 at 10:09 AM.
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  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Replacement View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Titanium48 View Post
    ^That would not happen if the road lines and signs indicated a zipper merge, with both lanes ending at the choke point and neither having right of way. That is what should be done until the road gets widened like it should have been when the intersections were rebuilt to accommodate the development in that area.
    For one thing road lines will be covered by road slush/snow thus rendering them sight unseen. Next, due to what I stated drivers that have correctly chosen the continue thru lane will exhibit less patience with drivers that are on the closing lanes. My comments are specific to winter driving conditions. The trouble, again, with using zipper in winter driving is the zipper gets stuck, all lanes slow to a crawl or stop entirely. With people in the thru lane even less happy having to merge when its the mergers who have in effect stopped all lanes and must then merge from a standing start.

    Compound this with Edmonton having unpredictable, and unskilled drives that don't know how to merge at speed in the first place and this is not going to be too successful.

    Just the other day saw a driver totally overwhelmed with road conditions that he merged onto Whitemud Freeway at 50km'hr. Unfortunately I was behind him. You have to watch those drivers too as they sometimes just stop hard not even comprehending they have a merge lane and space.

    We have bad drivers here. Unfortunately road engineering always needs to take into account the lowest common denominator of drivers. With a large subset of drives that can't even merge, or know what merge lanes are its problematic introducing this. We need better driver training here to be able to set the bar a bit higher.
    Hence the signs I posted in my first post, so even in the lines are snow covered, it's obvious. Wouldn't take long for people to clue in, and the lines would be painted in spring or summer, so people have all summer to encounter them. This would be much more effective than trying to get people to change their ways with the current "lane ends" setup.

  16. #16
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    ^^Except that there would be no "continue thru lane". Both lanes would have equal rights (an actual merge, not one lane ending). Change the markings in the spring and let regular users get used to it over the summer, and they will continue treating it that way in the winter.

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Titanium48 View Post
    ^^Except that there would be no "continue thru lane". Both lanes would have equal rights (an actual merge, not one lane ending). Change the markings in the spring and let regular users get used to it over the summer, and they will continue treating it that way in the winter.
    Which is why I alluded that people will think that they are in the correct lane. Not that it is accurate, but that thinking and response will occur. There is an interaction between winter driving and zipper here that won't work well and that didn't work well in places like Minnesota. Its because people get annoyed that all lanes end up being impeded.

    In a winter city I vastly prefer the "lane ends" scenario to the forced zipper. In lane ends scenarios the one lane is still moving while the merging lane is blocked. In Winter what largely occurs with a zipper is that all lanes come to a standstill. Which is better?

    Realistically we already know a zipper won't work here. As stated a lot of drivers don't even know how to merge here. merge at speed and zipper timing? Way beyond the LCD driver in Edmonton area.
    Last edited by Replacement; 13-01-2017 at 09:58 AM.
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  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by alkeli View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Replacement View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Titanium48 View Post
    ^That would not happen if the road lines and signs indicated a zipper merge, with both lanes ending at the choke point and neither having right of way. That is what should be done until the road gets widened like it should have been when the intersections were rebuilt to accommodate the development in that area.
    For one thing road lines will be covered by road slush/snow thus rendering them sight unseen. Next, due to what I stated drivers that have correctly chosen the continue thru lane will exhibit less patience with drivers that are on the closing lanes. My comments are specific to winter driving conditions. The trouble, again, with using zipper in winter driving is the zipper gets stuck, all lanes slow to a crawl or stop entirely. With people in the thru lane even less happy having to merge when its the mergers who have in effect stopped all lanes and must then merge from a standing start.

    Compound this with Edmonton having unpredictable, and unskilled drives that don't know how to merge at speed in the first place and this is not going to be too successful.

    Just the other day saw a driver totally overwhelmed with road conditions that he merged onto Whitemud Freeway at 50km'hr. Unfortunately I was behind him. You have to watch those drivers too as they sometimes just stop hard not even comprehending they have a merge lane and space.

    We have bad drivers here. Unfortunately road engineering always needs to take into account the lowest common denominator of drivers. With a large subset of drives that can't even merge, or know what merge lanes are its problematic introducing this. We need better driver training here to be able to set the bar a bit higher.
    Hence the signs I posted in my first post, so even in the lines are snow covered, it's obvious. Wouldn't take long for people to clue in, and the lines would be painted in spring or summer, so people have all summer to encounter them. This would be much more effective than trying to get people to change their ways with the current "lane ends" setup.
    If you think drivers here generally pay attention to road lane markings you are overestimating the LCD Edmonton drivers. Who for instance come to a complete stop in free flow merge situations whether roads are clearly marked and visible or not. A large proportion of drivers here would probably fail a legit signage test. Driver tests and examination here are a complete joke. I would estimate at least 10% of drivers who exhibit driving that makes one seriously wonder how they passed both the exam and the driving test.

    In ideal climatic situation, and with a requisite skill of the driving population I would probably agree with using zipper. But not here.

    I've made a few puns already about the zipper. Its not just joking. A zipper inherently fails when one of its teeth works incorrectly. Similar a driving zipper or merge fails anytime an LCD driver screws it up. The zipper gets stuck, then all lanes are stuck.
    Last edited by Replacement; 13-01-2017 at 10:08 AM.
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  19. #19

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    It works fine in Europe, I lived there for 4 years. And they also get snow on the ground. The types in Europe flow much better than the ending lanes we have here, fact.

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by alkeli View Post
    It works fine in Europe, I lived there for 4 years. And they also get snow on the ground. The types in Europe flow much better than the ending lanes we have here, fact.
    For the reasons I've stated that Euro drivers skillsets are appreciably better than drivers here. Particularly the worst drivers here. The large subset who probably shouldn't even be licenced to drive.

    You still haven't explained adequately how having the zipper merge before intersection, rather than after is better. Fact.
    "if god exists and he allowed that to happen, then its better that he doesn't exist"

  21. #21

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    Let's keep "how they do it in Europe or New Zealand" out of the argument. Eurotrash and the like are irrelevant except to jealous cowards. We are here, and we need to deal with what is happening here.

    Social engineering -- like the zipper-merge propaganda -- belongs in politics and other areas where there is still the faint possibility of pretending so-called civilized discourse exists.

    It does NOT belong on the road. There is no discourse and no thinking on the road. Driver reactions are instantaneous and quite automatic. A good driver, whatever that is, reacts well without thinking; a poor driver reacts poorly. But, simply put, in a difficult situation there is no time to think, consider options, or whatever else.

    Driving consists of keeping yourself out of danger from the environment and other drivers. Whatever our driving style, pretty well everyone does it that way.

    Zipper merges go against the natural social grain here, which is, if you are decent, get into the appropriate lane as early as possible and stay in it; watch for the shite who break this rule; cut them off if possible, let them through if not.

    Messing with our ethic of the road will only make things worse.

    As I wrote once on the same topic in another thread, there is nothing difficult about understanding why zipper merges are supposed to work better from the point of view of science and dynamics. But driving is not a matter of science. And only the most disgusting and pitiful nerds pretend it is.

  22. #22

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    The zipper merge isn't about efficiency. The same rate of cars will move regardless of one queue or a zipper merge. It's about capacity and have cars use all lanes so as to not affect traffic (Especially the perpendicular traffic) further behind.


    And to the above poster, sure it goes against our conditioning, but doesn't mean we have to be stuck in the dark ages. The information is there, educate and evolve our norms. No different than seat-belts and helmet laws. Plenty of backlash and incredulous accusations at the time, but now it's accepted.

  23. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by B.ike View Post
    The zipper merge isn't about efficiency. The same rate of cars will move regardless of one queue or a zipper merge. It's about capacity and have cars use all lanes so as to not affect traffic (Especially the perpendicular traffic) further behind.


    And to the above poster, sure it goes against our conditioning, but doesn't mean we have to be stuck in the dark ages. The information is there, educate and evolve our norms. No different than seat-belts and helmet laws. Plenty of backlash and incredulous accusations at the time, but now it's accepted.
    Dark ages? Avoid hysterical hyperbole. In short, grow up.

  24. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by AShetsen View Post
    Let's keep "how they do it in Europe or New Zealand" out of the argument. Eurotrash and the like are irrelevant except to jealous cowards. We are here, and we need to deal with what is happening here.

    Social engineering -- like the zipper-merge propaganda -- belongs in politics and other areas where there is still the faint possibility of pretending so-called civilized discourse exists.

    It does NOT belong on the road. There is no discourse and no thinking on the road. Driver reactions are instantaneous and quite automatic. A good driver, whatever that is, reacts well without thinking; a poor driver reacts poorly. But, simply put, in a difficult situation there is no time to think, consider options, or whatever else.

    Driving consists of keeping yourself out of danger from the environment and other drivers. Whatever our driving style, pretty well everyone does it that way.

    Zipper merges go against the natural social grain here, which is, if you are decent, get into the appropriate lane as early as possible and stay in it; watch for the shite who break this rule; cut them off if possible, let them through if not.

    Messing with our ethic of the road will only make things worse.

    As I wrote once on the same topic in another thread, there is nothing difficult about understanding why zipper merges are supposed to work better from the point of view of science and dynamics. But driving is not a matter of science. And only the most disgusting and pitiful nerds pretend it is.
    Remember that next time you drive all the way to the end of the lane like you're supposed to and nobody lets you into their lane (no law or signs saying they must let you into their lane) and then you have to come to a stop and wait for a gap in traffic. Forcing your way in and causing a car to hit you makes I your fault btw, because you did an improper lane change.

  25. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by AShetsen View Post
    Let's keep "how they do it in Europe or New Zealand" out of the argument. Eurotrash and the like are irrelevant except to jealous cowards. We are here, and we need to deal with what is happening here.

    Social engineering -- like the zipper-merge propaganda -- belongs in politics and other areas where there is still the faint possibility of pretending so-called civilized discourse exists.

    It does NOT belong on the road. There is no discourse and no thinking on the road. Driver reactions are instantaneous and quite automatic. A good driver, whatever that is, reacts well without thinking; a poor driver reacts poorly. But, simply put, in a difficult situation there is no time to think, consider options, or whatever else.

    Driving consists of keeping yourself out of danger from the environment and other drivers. Whatever our driving style, pretty well everyone does it that way.

    Zipper merges go against the natural social grain here, which is, if you are decent, get into the appropriate lane as early as possible and stay in it; watch for the shite who break this rule; cut them off if possible, let them through if not.

    Messing with our ethic of the road will only make things worse.

    As I wrote once on the same topic in another thread, there is nothing difficult about understanding why zipper merges are supposed to work better from the point of view of science and dynamics. But driving is not a matter of science. And only the most disgusting and pitiful nerds pretend it is.
    "watch for the shite who break this rule; cut them off if possible"

    Wow - you're a great driver. I take it that you weren't raised here. Or you're making up your own "ethic of the road" for Alberta.

    I always moved over as soon as possible and felt that passing anyone was jumping the queue. However, I always noticed how I was therefore pushed back in the queue by people that drove right on by and changed into the through-lane ahead of me.

    Now, there's all kinds of reasons people end up passing and getting in ahead of someone that has moved into the through-lane. Here's just three: One, people just don't look very far in advance (...or behind for that matter. I often pull over to the right for emergency vehicles well before a lot of people behind me do. A lot of people never look far back in their rear view mirrors.) Two, even those that see an issue ahead often can't tell what it is and so they continue along until they find out. Three, they were behind a vehicle that blocked their view up the road.

    So trying to cut off someone that may quite innocently have gotten in front of you is rude, unprofessional and asinine and only something supreme *** _ _ _ _s do on the road. It's sure not something any friend of mine - Alberta born friend - would do.
    Last edited by KC; 13-01-2017 at 11:51 AM.

  26. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by alkeli View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by AShetsen View Post
    Let's keep "how they do it in Europe or New Zealand" out of the argument. Eurotrash and the like are irrelevant except to jealous cowards. We are here, and we need to deal with what is happening here.

    Social engineering -- like the zipper-merge propaganda -- belongs in politics and other areas where there is still the faint possibility of pretending so-called civilized discourse exists.

    It does NOT belong on the road. There is no discourse and no thinking on the road. Driver reactions are instantaneous and quite automatic. A good driver, whatever that is, reacts well without thinking; a poor driver reacts poorly. But, simply put, in a difficult situation there is no time to think, consider options, or whatever else.

    Driving consists of keeping yourself out of danger from the environment and other drivers. Whatever our driving style, pretty well everyone does it that way.

    Zipper merges go against the natural social grain here, which is, if you are decent, get into the appropriate lane as early as possible and stay in it; watch for the shite who break this rule; cut them off if possible, let them through if not.

    Messing with our ethic of the road will only make things worse.

    As I wrote once on the same topic in another thread, there is nothing difficult about understanding why zipper merges are supposed to work better from the point of view of science and dynamics. But driving is not a matter of science. And only the most disgusting and pitiful nerds pretend it is.
    Remember that next time you drive all the way to the end of the lane like you're supposed to and nobody lets you into their lane (no law or signs saying they must let you into their lane) and then you have to come to a stop and wait for a gap in traffic. Forcing your way in and causing a car to hit you makes I your fault btw, because you did an improper lane change.
    I was brought up and very likely taught in "driver ed" as well, to always make room for someone that is signalling their intention to change lanes. I'd be pretty astounded to think that that wouldn't happen at a marked / signed merge - especially when its due to construction.

  27. #27

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    I was always a lineupper. Still often do it that way.

    The Right Way to Merge Lanes to Avoid Traffic-Induced Road Rage
    Melanie Pinola
    1/14/14
    http://lifehacker.com/the-right-way-...and-1501148503


    Proof here that AShetsen can legally be a supreme ******* when he drives:

    Do I legally have to let in a car merging into my lane?
    JASON TCHIR
    Special to The Globe and Mail
    Published Tuesday, May 26, 2015
    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe...ticle24592973/
    Last edited by KC; 13-01-2017 at 12:08 PM.

  28. #28

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    By the way, here's the old thread on all this stuff:

    Zipper Merging, Late Merge in construction zones
    http://www.connect2edmonton.ca/showt...truction-zones

  29. #29

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    It's obvious none of you fools can read. Or think. Are you human? I don't think so. And the geeks that program you don't know what they're doing.

    I said nothing about my driving personally. I did say that moving over as quickly as possible and generally making it as hard as possible for people who insisted on passing was the common way to drive here. And any attempts to change it would only make things worse, because there would be less consistency.

    In short, my argument was exactly the position of the state of California, where the traffic authority is not convinced of the efficacy of zipper merges.

    How I myself drive is neither here nor there. I will not waste my time defending or justifying myself to amoebas.

  30. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by AShetsen View Post
    It's obvious none of you fools can read. Or think. Are you human? I don't think so. And the geeks that program you don't know what they're doing.

    I said nothing about my driving personally. I did say that moving over as quickly as possible and generally making it as hard as possible for people who insisted on passing was the common way to drive here. And any attempts to change it would only make things worse, because there would be less consistency.

    In short, my argument was exactly the position of the state of California, where the traffic authority is not convinced of the efficacy of zipper merges.

    How I myself drive is neither here nor there. I will not waste my time defending or justifying myself to amoebas.
    This is what you said above: "Zipper merges go against the natural social grain here, which is, if you are decent, get into the appropriate lane as early as possible and stay in it; watch for the shite who break this rule; cut them off if possible, let them through if not."

    Since there is no "rule', you simply have quite reprehensible mortality and ethics.

    You do appear to be on the verge of suffering from post rage though.
    Last edited by KC; 13-01-2017 at 12:25 PM.

  31. #31

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    ^If observing how things actually happen and describing it without immediate condemnation is morally reprehensible and unethical, I am happy to be both.

    But I think you are pretty far off on this one even by your own standards.

  32. #32

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    If anyone has "proof" as to why this doesn't work in some state or country, instead of spouting your mouth off, keep it civil and post a link to a source, otherwise it's just personal belief/theory etc... End of story.

    Personally I think it should be tried at one or two intersection to see how it goes.

  33. #33

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    If you are referring to the position in California, http://www.welikela.com/studies-show...ic-congestion/

    Well, according to a report from cars.com last year, Mark Dinger, spokesman for the California Department of Transportation, says the Golden State doesn’t necessarily agree with directing drivers to employ the zipper merging strategy.

    In California signs are posted at a half-mile, 1,500 feet, 1,000 feet and at the merge point letting the driver know a construction zone is ahead and which lane is ending. In this way drivers are implicitly directed to merge much earlier than might be optimal from a pure traffic flow standpoint.

    The reason is a safety concern, with Dinger citing Federal Highway Administration data that shows sudden braking caused by late mergers results in rear-end collisions — the most common type of work-zone accident.

    “Drivers who cut in at the last minute cause sudden stopping and lane changes, which cause direct collisions as well as delayed-reaction collisions by drivers further back in the queue who may not be paying attention or expecting traffic speed to suddenly change,” he said.
    Opinions about zipper merging, including those from authorities on both sides, are beliefs. Always. The call to "prove" opinions is the cheapest trick of the cheap hypocrite.

  34. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by AShetsen View Post
    If you are referring to the position in California, http://www.welikela.com/studies-show...ic-congestion/

    Well, according to a report from cars.com last year, Mark Dinger, spokesman for the California Department of Transportation, says the Golden State doesn’t necessarily agree with directing drivers to employ the zipper merging strategy.

    In California signs are posted at a half-mile, 1,500 feet, 1,000 feet and at the merge point letting the driver know a construction zone is ahead and which lane is ending. In this way drivers are implicitly directed to merge much earlier than might be optimal from a pure traffic flow standpoint.

    The reason is a safety concern, with Dinger citing Federal Highway Administration data that shows sudden braking caused by late mergers results in rear-end collisions — the most common type of work-zone accident.

    “Drivers who cut in at the last minute cause sudden stopping and lane changes, which cause direct collisions as well as delayed-reaction collisions by drivers further back in the queue who may not be paying attention or expecting traffic speed to suddenly change,” he said.
    Opinions about zipper merging, including those from authorities on both sides, are beliefs. Always. The call to "prove" opinions is the cheapest trick of the cheap hypocrite.
    Now that's a valuable bit of input. No categorization of "decent" drivers vs " **** " drivers.

  35. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by AShetsen View Post
    If you are referring to the position in California, http://www.welikela.com/studies-show...ic-congestion/

    Well, according to a report from cars.com last year, Mark Dinger, spokesman for the California Department of Transportation, says the Golden State doesn’t necessarily agree with directing drivers to employ the zipper merging strategy.

    In California signs are posted at a half-mile, 1,500 feet, 1,000 feet and at the merge point letting the driver know a construction zone is ahead and which lane is ending. In this way drivers are implicitly directed to merge much earlier than might be optimal from a pure traffic flow standpoint.

    The reason is a safety concern, with Dinger citing Federal Highway Administration data that shows sudden braking caused by late mergers results in rear-end collisions — the most common type of work-zone accident.

    “Drivers who cut in at the last minute cause sudden stopping and lane changes, which cause direct collisions as well as delayed-reaction collisions by drivers further back in the queue who may not be paying attention or expecting traffic speed to suddenly change,” he said.
    Opinions about zipper merging, including those from authorities on both sides, are beliefs. Always. The call to "prove" opinions is the cheapest trick of the cheap hypocrite.
    Again, like I said in my FIRST POST, I'm NOT talking about construction zones! Which is what that article talks about. I'm talking about a system where 2 lanes merge into one. One lane does not end forcing one lane to merge into another.

    Your conversation regarding the current way to zipper merge when one lane ends is completely irrelevant to this thread.

  36. #36

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    A lane ending is a lane ending -- whether it's a construction zone, an on-ramp, an accident scene marked off, or simply a road narrowing.

    As regards the whole business of decent vs **** drivers. I am a **** driver. I don't have enormous skills or patience, I sometimes get angry, and I have made mistakes. But I will not justify myself, condemn the so-called lowest common denominator, or pretend I am somehow better than anyone else on the road. And the one thing I have no patience for is what all of YOU imply when you don't bleat it outright, which is that YOUR way of driving is good. I know none of you personally, but I've seen all of us driving on the roads basically daily. Let's end the wanking, self-stroking, and self-abuse about our skills once and for all.

    The way we drive zipper merges are better off left in the gutter.
    Last edited by AShetsen; 13-01-2017 at 12:57 PM.

  37. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by AShetsen View Post
    A lane ending is a lane ending -- whether it's a construction zone, an on-ramp, an accident scene marked off, or simply a road narrowing.
    Until you actually read the first post and understand it, your comments are useless.

  38. #38

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    ^Your pretense that the topic is somehow constrained according to your arbitrary first-post distinction is moronic.

    As I have said, a lane ending is a lane ending. The physical measures that make it more or less safe, such as road conditions, weather, driving speed and so on, do not necessarily correlate to the reason the lane ends.

  39. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by AShetsen View Post
    ^Your pretense that the topic is somehow constrained according to your arbitrary first-post distinction is moronic.

    As I have said, a lane ending is a lane ending. The physical measures that make it more or less safe, such as road conditions, weather, driving speed and so on, do not necessarily correlate to the reason the lane ends.
    HAHAHA oh god... I created the thread and topic specifically excluding construction zones, so yes, MY topic in this thread that I created is constrained to what I discussed in my first post. Now you're just being childish and arguing for the sake of arguing.

    Congrats for being the first user added to my ignore list. I'll enjoy not seeing your posts anymore. I suggest others do the same.
    Last edited by alkeli; 13-01-2017 at 01:39 PM.

  40. #40

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    This thread and topic is not about you.

    There are NO conditions under which zipper merging works given the way we drive (as opposed to should drive, yadda yadda).

    Two lanes ending and merging into a "single" middle lane is worse than an on-ramp or a construction zone or an accident scene.

    Busybodies can pull out all the pie in the sky scenarios they like, but in practice too many, that is, more than one, middle-lane hogs will simply drive right on the lane marking and cut off people in BOTH other lanes.

  41. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by AShetsen View Post
    Dark ages? Avoid hysterical hyperbole. In short, grow up.
    Pardon the usage, I think the term should have been "primitive cultures".

    Our slack-jawed North American automatic-slushbox drivers only seem to care about the car in front of them and react accordingly. The can be evidenced by watching cars tail gate; cars getting stuck at end of a queue in one lane with ample time to change lanes but only signaling when they get stuck behind said queue; drivers making aggressive lane changes when a car in front is doing a left hand turn while a gap approaches; and the list goes on.
    And it's only natural that our cave-men minds get enraged when a car sneaks by in front of you. If a car merges in behind you, no problem - woe be to them if they merge in front of you. club smash time.

    Its not a good idea to be stuck in the proto-culture stage, and our archaic instincts of driving can be slowly educated. Unlike amoebas, where they operate on reflexes, our primeval urges can be cultured.
    Last edited by B.ike; 13-01-2017 at 01:58 PM.

  42. #42

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    Here's a link to how the Australian government made the change. They actually sent out brochures to every household as well. You can see how this differs from one lane just ending because the dotted line denotes a lane which you must change out of when you have the opportunity to do so.

    http://www.sdt.com.au/safedrive-directory-MERGING.htm





    The 2 examples above show how you must merge like a zipper as the road narrows.

    Some more signage, one is a real-world one


  43. #43

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    Quote Originally Posted by B.ike View Post
    ... The information is there, educate and evolve our norms. No different than seat-belts and helmet laws. Plenty of backlash and incredulous accusations at the time, but now it's accepted.
    Well said.

  44. #44

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    Quote Originally Posted by B.ike View Post
    Our slack-jawed North American automatic-slushbox drivers only seem to care about the car in front of them and react accordingly. The can be evidenced by watching cars tail gate; cars getting stuck at end of a queue in one lane with ample time to change lanes but only signaling when they get stuck behind said queue; drivers making aggressive lane changes when a car in front is doing a left hand turn while a gap approaches; and the list goes on.
    And it's only natural that our cave-men minds get enraged when a car sneaks by in front of you. If a car merges in behind you, no problem - woe be to them if they merge in front of you. club smash time.
    I'd take all that over a stick/pedal snob like you. With your attitudes, YOU are the problem on the road.

  45. #45

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    Quote Originally Posted by AShetsen View Post
    I'd take all that over a stick/pedal snob like you. With your attitudes, YOU are the problem on the road.
    I'd have to say your consistent belligerence here (and elsewhere), discussing a simple, trvial, topic, does nothing to make me think you're anything but the some on the road.

    Am I alone in this?
    I am in no way entitled to your opinion...

  46. #46

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    ^Read your own tag-line.

  47. #47

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    Quote Originally Posted by AShetsen View Post
    I'd take all that over a stick/pedal snob like you. With your attitudes, YOU are the problem on the road.
    No, actually I drive an auto. I just tend to look a few cars ahead rather than just focusing on the bumper in front of me.

    And if someone cuts me off, so be it. In a long construction queue, if there are "cheaters" who come to the front, that's fine...each car represents about 2 seconds of lost time to you. Whatever they gain, that's their gain, doesn't affect me.

    But again, if you utilize all lanes effectively, this idea of a "cheater" doesn't exist and a dangerous speed differential won't happen. win-win.

  48. #48

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    To repeat what I've said twice already: this is really not about any one particular driver, no matter how good or bad, but about traffic the way it is: here, not anywhere else.

    Zipper merges are a UTOPIAN idea. They work well if everyone handles them properly. But they fail to work as soon as someone slows down, or cuts someone off, or changes lanes too early. And under these circumstances the best strategy is to change lanes as early as possible and to be patient through the jam. In the world as it is, not as it should be.

    Nor is the analogy with seat belts and the way they were once made mandatory any good. A seat belt is a security measure for the occupant in the event of a crash. Nothing else. Wearing it or failing to wear it does not affect traffic or road conditions. Whereas merging is a matter of traffic and road conditions entirely.

    Personalities aside -- and I abuse people on here only because while they can dish it out, they certainly can't take it -- that's all, really.
    Last edited by AShetsen; 13-01-2017 at 03:24 PM.

  49. #49

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    Quote Originally Posted by AShetsen View Post
    To repeat what I've said twice already: this is really not about any one particular driver, no matter how good or bad, but about traffic the way it is: here, not anywhere else.

    Zipper merges are a UTOPIAN idea. They work well if everyone handles them properly. But they fail to work as soon as someone slows down, or cuts someone off, or changes lanes too early. And under these circumstances the best strategy is to change lanes as early as possible and to be patient through the jam. In the world as it is, not as it should be.

    Nor is the analogy with seat belts and the way they were once made mandatory any good. A seat belt is a security measure for the occupant in the event of a crash. Nothing else. Wearing it or failing to wear it does not affect traffic or road conditions. Whereas merging is a matter of traffic and road conditions entirely.

    Personalities aside -- and I abuse people on here only because while they can dish it out, they certainly can't take it -- that's all, really.
    I don't know about that last point. I've taken quite a bit of abuse. Frequently called a fool by several posters. It adds a bit of liveliness to the threads which is sometimes enjoyable.

    I'm not sure how much I dish out though. I tried a bit of baiting above to match similar Ashetsen baiting on other threads. If it went nowhere. So boring. But I'll try to polish up my act and try again some day.

  50. #50

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    Quote Originally Posted by alkeli View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by B.ike View Post
    ... The information is there, educate and evolve our norms. No different than seat-belts and helmet laws. Plenty of backlash and incredulous accusations at the time, but now it's accepted.
    Well said.
    It isn't really. Its a classic incomparable. On one hand bike helmets which are indisputably better for you than splitting your head wide open on impact. On the other a debatable road rule which may, or may not be a benefit or a hindrance here.

    We're talking about an OP you created. You've sidestepped nearly every question I've asked.

    1) Again, how is a zipper merge Before an intersection preferable to one after it?

    2) How is zipper going to function adequately HERE when it requires the proper use of ALL drivers? The zipper specifically is a traffic pattern where one bad driver can cause the whole thing to come to a standstill for all lanes.

    2A) Zipper functioning assumes ALL drivers will comply. Welcome to the sideswipe when two or more drivers decide to play chicken with this and in icy conditions. That being an invoked risk that isn't there to the same degree presently. Establishing a right of way, and a lane close is functional in this regard. It makes it unambiguous. One lane proceeds, one yields.

    3)Zipper functioning assumes traffic is moving at a particular rate of speed. Otherwise there is no discernible benefit. Please explain how the zipper is advantageous to a typical one lane closing scenario when slow speed and outright all lane stops are an outcome (resultant of 2, 2A above)

    4) Weather is a variable COMBINED with some drivers not being able to drive adequately in less than ideal road conditions. Have you, or have you not seen drivers here that had considerable difficulty with notions of merging at speed, understanding free flow vs stop, or the concept of merge and right of way at all? Do you drive here? You want to introduce a zipper, which involves more skill, adherence, in a market where a significant amount of drivers can't even merge properly. This should be fun.
    "if god exists and he allowed that to happen, then its better that he doesn't exist"

  51. #51

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    Ending a lane after the intersection is better than ending it just before.

    If, for example, two cars are contending for the same lane and the choke-point is just ahead, the car already in the lane has the option of accelerating to get past the choke-point ahead.

    There is no such option if the choke point is just before an intersection with a red light.

  52. #52

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    Quote Originally Posted by Replacement View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by alkeli View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by B.ike View Post
    ... The information is there, educate and evolve our norms. No different than seat-belts and helmet laws. Plenty of backlash and incredulous accusations at the time, but now it's accepted.
    Well said.
    It isn't really. Its a classic incomparable. On one hand bike helmets which are indisputably better for you than splitting your head wide open on impact. On the other a debatable road rule which may, or may not be a benefit or a hindrance here.

    We're talking about an OP you created. You've sidestepped nearly every question I've asked.

    1) Again, how is a zipper merge Before an intersection preferable to one after it?

    2) How is zipper going to function adequately HERE when it requires the proper use of ALL drivers? The zipper specifically is a traffic pattern where one bad driver can cause the whole thing to come to a standstill for all lanes.

    2A) Zipper functioning assumes ALL drivers will comply. Welcome to the sideswipe when two or more drivers decide to play chicken with this and in icy conditions. That being an invoked risk that isn't there to the same degree presently. Establishing a right of way, and a lane close is functional in this regard. It makes it unambiguous. One lane proceeds, one yields.

    3)Zipper functioning assumes traffic is moving at a particular rate of speed. Otherwise there is no discernible benefit. Please explain how the zipper is advantageous to a typical one lane closing scenario when slow speed and outright all lane stops are an outcome (resultant of 2, 2A above)

    4) Weather is a variable COMBINED with some drivers not being able to drive adequately in less than ideal road conditions. Have you, or have you not seen drivers here that had considerable difficulty with notions of merging at speed, understanding free flow vs stop, or the concept of merge and right of way at all? Do you drive here? You want to introduce a zipper, which involves more skill, adherence, in a market where a significant amount of drivers can't even merge properly. This should be fun.
    The merge before was a side note, not the main topic.

  53. #53

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    ^So you were wrong about that too.

    Discuss any other related concerns that have been expressed then. Which I took the time to compile into numbered points.
    "if god exists and he allowed that to happen, then its better that he doesn't exist"

  54. #54

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    Quote Originally Posted by AShetsen View Post
    Ending a lane after the intersection is better than ending it just before.

    If, for example, two cars are contending for the same lane and the choke-point is just ahead, the car already in the lane has the option of accelerating to get past the choke-point ahead.

    There is no such option if the choke point is just before an intersection with a red light.
    Ending a lane after an intersection is common. Usually there is a 100m to 200m merge are after the intersection. It is usually self clearing as if there is a jam, the changing light phase allows a break in traffic for the jam to be relieved.

    Placing after the intersection also prevents a choke point before the intersection where right and left turning traffic are less affected and don't compound the merge issue. This is all well and good unless there is no opportunity to have a sizeable merge area after the intersection if construction is very close to the intersection.
    Advocating a better Edmonton through effective, efficient and economical transit.

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