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Zipper Merging, Late Merge in construction zones

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  • #16
    Why doesn't zippering work will in Edmonton? Because people treat a merge into a single lane like a line at movie theatre or bank. Some drivers view people merging in near where two lanes become one as "budding in line". They will actively obstruct drivers, since they "should have waited there turn" and merged at the "back of the line".

    Zippering should be part of driver training; it makes the most sense, but people need to be taught it, or they'll use other examples in their lives when trying to deal with a single lane of traffic.

    Comment


    • #17
      Originally posted by sundance View Post
      Alas many studies disagree with you ...

      When traffic is heavy and slow, it is actually much safer for motorists to remain in their current lane until the point where traffic can orderly take turns merging which is generally after the “MERGE” sign. Unfortunately, while the safer procedure is legal, it is not what has been taught.
      ...
      By creating two full lanes of traffic, we reduce the difference in speeds between the two lanes. Therefore, vehicles generally do not have a reason to switch lanes, and if they do decide to switch, then the traffic is traveling approximately the same speed in both lanes making the maneuver is much easier and safer...
      http://www.dot.state.mn.us/trafficen...rge-zipper.pdf


      Results of the computer simulations show ed the late merge produced a statistically significant increase in throughput volume for only the 3-to-1-lane closure configuration and was beneficial across all factors for this type of closure. For the 2-to-1 and 3-to-2 lane closure configurations, the late merge in creased throughput when the percentage of heavy vehicles was
      large.
      http://www.virginiadot.org/vtrc/main.../pdf/05-r6.pdf
      http://www.edmunds.com/driving-tips/...sidezoomer.htm
      Those quotes don't disagree with me. They say it's safer and easier, not faster.
      The only time it is faster is in a 3-1 merge, which I have never seen here. Or when there's lots of large trucks, possible I guess.
      I'm not saying it's bad, I would love if everyone did it. But only to reduce stress and anger.

      On the topic of merging, I think a PSA is required to let people know that people on freeways do NOT have the right of way over cars entering on a entry ramp. No one has the right of way. My unofficial rule has been if the entering traffic is going the same speed as the freeway traffic, then they have the right of way. If they are going slower, then the freeway traffic has the right of way. Every personal vehicle on the road today can make it to 80kph on all the on ramps that exist to our freeways.

      Comment


      • #18
        It's not isolated to Edmonton. The Texas Transportation Institute did a study a few years back called "Understanding Road Rage." (You can google it up if you really want a dry read.) They found that one of the most common sources of road rage is poor merging habits, and that road designs can actually make the problem worse.

        In the study they reworked test sections on busy Dallas freeways with new barriers, lines, and signs to promote people to do late, zipper merging. Basically by "dumbing it down" they got most people to merge better, which improved traffic flow and reduced road rage in those test sections of road.

        It's harder to accomplish that in a temporary road construction situation. But I still think some improved signage and barrier placement would probably help.

        Comment


        • #19
          Originally posted by nobleea View Post
          Originally posted by sundance View Post
          Alas many studies disagree with you ...

          When traffic is heavy and slow, it is actually much safer for motorists to remain in their current lane until the point where traffic can orderly take turns merging which is generally after the “MERGE” sign. Unfortunately, while the safer procedure is legal, it is not what has been taught.
          ...
          By creating two full lanes of traffic, we reduce the difference in speeds between the two lanes. Therefore, vehicles generally do not have a reason to switch lanes, and if they do decide to switch, then the traffic is traveling approximately the same speed in both lanes making the maneuver is much easier and safer...
          http://www.dot.state.mn.us/trafficen...rge-zipper.pdf


          Results of the computer simulations show ed the late merge produced a statistically significant increase in throughput volume for only the 3-to-1-lane closure configuration and was beneficial across all factors for this type of closure. For the 2-to-1 and 3-to-2 lane closure configurations, the late merge in creased throughput when the percentage of heavy vehicles was
          large.
          http://www.virginiadot.org/vtrc/main.../pdf/05-r6.pdf
          http://www.edmunds.com/driving-tips/...sidezoomer.htm
          Those quotes don't disagree with me. They say it's safer and easier, not faster.
          The only time it is faster is in a 3-1 merge, which I have never seen here. Or when there's lots of large trucks, possible I guess.
          I'm not saying it's bad, I would love if everyone did it. But only to reduce stress and anger.

          On the topic of merging, I think a PSA is required to let people know that people on freeways do NOT have the right of way over cars entering on a entry ramp. No one has the right of way. My unofficial rule has been if the entering traffic is going the same speed as the freeway traffic, then they have the right of way. If they are going slower, then the freeway traffic has the right of way. Every personal vehicle on the road today can make it to 80kph on all the on ramps that exist to our freeways.
          This is a significant factor as well:

          We reduce the overall length of the backup by up to 50% (40% is common). While this may not be important in rural areas, it is critical in the metro area where the backups affect other interchanges. Therefore, we reduce the congestion problem for the other interchanges.

          "For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong"

          Comment


          • #20
            Originally posted by Ustauk View Post
            Why doesn't zippering work will in Edmonton? Because people treat a merge into a single lane like a line at movie theatre or bank. Some drivers view people merging in near where two lanes become one as "budding in line". They will actively obstruct drivers, since they "should have waited there turn" and merged at the "back of the line".

            Zippering should be part of driver training; it makes the most sense, but people need to be taught it, or they'll use other examples in their lives when trying to deal with a single lane of traffic.
            Exactly, however most of the ones up in front of you are nice people and they let the 'transgressors' in ahead of you. The thing is, ideally everyone would merge at their relative position in the traffic but not everyone sees the construction or other blockages at the same time so people are bound to become perceived 'transgressors', line jumpers, butters-in, or whatever.

            A few years ago I was driving to Calgary, came over the crest of a hill and saw a right lane blockage miles up front of me and moved over right away. I then ended up sitting in a mile or two mile long line up watching literally hundreds of cars continue on past me and merging up in front of me. I hardly moved forward and my time in the lineup likely doubled or tripled over what would have happened had I just stayed in my original lane and driven the mile or two right up to the lane's barriers.

            In my above instance, there's all kinds of legitimate reasons for those that passed me on the right and gotten in ahead of me: they may have been following trucks, thinking the problem was in my lane, knowing how to properly merge in backed up traffic, etc. In fact, I should have pulled out and done it too but didn't because it felt like an immoral thing to do. That's why we need an education campaign too.


            ~
            Last edited by KC; 24-06-2014, 12:50 PM. Reason: typos

            Comment


            • #21
              Agreed KC. People butt in especially in expensive vehicles like they own the front of the line. These people would never attempt to cut in front of you in a lineup of people at Tim Hortons or at a movie. Put them behind the wheel of an Audi or BMW and they do it all the time. The other week I was in Toronto and a guy in a Mercedes 560 AMG tried to squeeze past me as I merged our of a left lane that was ending in heavy traffic moving at a crawl. He was driving right beside me and squeezed closer and closer expecting me to yield to him on my left. He was on the shoulder that was disappearing and could not squeeze forward anymore because of the curb. I glared at him as I laid on my horn as his fender was just inches from mine. He finally stopped when his mirror folded back after it hit mine. He rolled down the passenger window and yelled some obscenities that he had the right and I told him he should call a cop.

              He was forced to fall behind me and then I let an 18 wheeler with a 53 ft trailer in from my right and moved into his void and around him. The Mercedes ended up stuck behind the semi for quite some time.

              I think the main problem is all the rubber neckers who act like sheep, some texting while driving in a construction zone, others looking at the accident or construction, anything other than looking ahead. I see it all the time. The guy ahead of you just going slow even past the restriction with the car ahead of him already gone far ahead. You get pass these sloths and a you look in your rear view mirror, all the half asleep drivers are slowly getting up to speed hundreds of meters behind you. When I go through such areas I am focused on what is ahead of me, I don't speed and defensively drive. Once past the narrows I try to get back up to speed ASAP.

              You see in places like when they close one lane of a two lane road for repaving for a kilometer or more. The stream of cars now past the merge point are all in a construction zone with only one lane but the line of traffic is wildly separated. Groups of cars properly separated and then big gaps where some timid or rubber necking driver is going much slower than all the rest, backing up traffic well behind them and affecting the merge area.

              http://techcrunch.com/2011/05/12/the...lass-hands-on/

              Proper merging is important but whether it happens well back or at the pinch point has little effect because the real issue is how much traffic passes at what cycle rate through the narrows. This is the proverbial bottle neck. No more sand can get through the hourglass unless more sand travels through the pinch point. It is true that the longer the pinch point, one slow car creates a ripple effect that lasts longer so merging late has the advantage of shortening the effective length of the pinch point. I always watch for the opening with a slow moving truck, a distracted driver who leaves an opening or a timid driver and fill the gap.

              http://blog.nj.com/ledgerupdates/200...ay_30_for.html

              http://www.theyeshivaworld.com/news/...el-closed.html

              Studies done in the 1960's that were published at the time in Scientific American that were done on the Lincoln Tunnel in NYC of traffic delays and mediation concluded the problems occurred in the tunnel, not in the merge area. That merge was from 4 lanes to 8 toll booths down to two lanes. Studies revealed that a stalled car or sudden stop for even a moment in the tunnel created a ripple effect that worked its way backward and grew larger and longer as drivers were slow to respond to the changes of speed and over reacted and then did not recover. Studies found that if they held cars back momentarily at the tunnel entrance, creating artificial breaks, the ripple effect could be broken and allowed more cars to transit through the tunnel.
              Last edited by Edmonton PRT; 25-06-2014, 05:54 AM.
              Advocating a better Edmonton through effective, efficient and economical transit.

              Comment


              • #22
                Originally posted by Edmonton PRT
                People butt in especially in expensive vehicles like they own the front of the line.
                That's just your own preconceived notion. Do you have any empirical data to back up that claim? I could just as easily claim that jerks in jacked up pickups are the worst offenders. You don't have to own a German car to drive like a jerk.

                Comment


                • #23
                  Originally posted by Marcel Petrin View Post
                  Originally posted by Edmonton PRT
                  People butt in especially in expensive vehicles like they own the front of the line.
                  That's just your own preconceived notion. Do you have any empirical data to back up that claim? I could just as easily claim that jerks in jacked up pickups are the worst offenders. You don't have to own a German car to drive like a jerk.
                  Are not jacked up pickups "expensive vehicles" as well? I am glad we agree.
                  Advocating a better Edmonton through effective, efficient and economical transit.

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Marcel Petrin View Post

                    That's just your own preconceived notion. Do you have any empirical data to back up that claim? I could just as easily claim that jerks in jacked up pickups are the worst offenders. You don't have to own a German car to drive like a jerk.
                    I think we found the fancy German car owner guys! Hehe.
                    Giving less of a damn than ever… Can't laugh at the ignorant if you ignore them!

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Edmonton PRT View Post
                      Agreed KC. People butt in especially in expensive vehicles like they own the front of the line. These people would never attempt to cut in front of you in a lineup of people at Tim Hortons or at a movie. Put them behind the wheel of an Audi or BMW and they do it all the time. The other week I was in Toronto and a guy in a Mercedes 560 AMG tried to squeeze past me as I merged our of a left lane that was ending in heavy traffic moving at a crawl. He was driving right beside me and squeezed closer and closer expecting me to yield to him on my left. He was on the shoulder that was disappearing and could not squeeze forward anymore because of the curb. I glared at him as I laid on my horn as his fender was just inches from mine. He finally stopped when his mirror folded back after it hit mine. He rolled down the passenger window and yelled some obscenities that he had the right and I told him he should call a cop.

                      He was forced to fall behind me and then I let an 18 wheeler with a 53 ft trailer in from my right and moved into his void and around him. The Mercedes ended up stuck behind the semi for quite some time.

                      I think the main problem is all the rubber neckers who act like sheep, some texting while driving in a construction zone, others looking at the accident or construction, anything other than looking ahead. I see it all the time. The guy ahead of you just going slow even past the restriction with the car ahead of him already gone far ahead. You get pass these sloths and a you look in your rear view mirror, all the half asleep drivers are slowly getting up to speed hundreds of meters behind you. When I go through such areas I am focused on what is ahead of me, I don't speed and defensively drive. Once past the narrows I try to get back up to speed ASAP.

                      You see in places like when they close one lane of a two lane road for repaving for a kilometer or more. The stream of cars now past the merge point are all in a construction zone with only one lane but the line of traffic is wildly separated. Groups of cars properly separated and then big gaps where some timid or rubber necking driver is going much slower than all the rest, backing up traffic well behind them and affecting the merge area.

                      http://techcrunch.com/2011/05/12/the...lass-hands-on/

                      Proper merging is important but whether it happens well back or at the pinch point has little effect because the real issue is how much traffic passes at what cycle rate through the narrows. This is the proverbial bottle neck. No more sand can get through the hourglass unless more sand travels through the pinch point. It is true that the longer the pinch point, one slow car creates a ripple effect that lasts longer so merging late has the advantage of shortening the effective length of the pinch point. I always watch for the opening with a slow moving truck, a distracted driver who leaves an opening or a timid driver and fill the gap.

                      http://blog.nj.com/ledgerupdates/200...ay_30_for.html

                      http://www.theyeshivaworld.com/news/...el-closed.html

                      Studies done in the 1960's that were published at the time in Scientific American that were done on the Lincoln Tunnel in NYC of traffic delays and mediation concluded the problems occurred in the tunnel, not in the merge area. That merge was from 4 lanes to 8 toll booths down to two lanes. Studies revealed that a stalled car or sudden stop for even a moment in the tunnel created a ripple effect that worked its way backward and grew larger and longer as drivers were slow to respond to the changes of speed and over reacted and then did not recover. Studies found that if they held cars back momentarily at the tunnel entrance, creating artificial breaks, the ripple effect could be broken and allowed more cars to transit through the tunnel.
                      I don't see how overall speed is improved but on a first come first served basis the zipper merge seems fairer if everyone does it as no one is pushed back in the line.

                      Saskatoon is trying it and I see a number of articles via Google on their experience.

                      Do you Zipper merge
                      http://www.cbc.ca/edmontonam/episode...-zipper-merge/


                      How to 'zip' through summertime road construction - Technology & Science - CBC News
                      http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/ho...tion-1.1340869

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        I always like to let alternate vehicles in before me. Courtesy on the road is important but don't try to take advantage of the situation. And if I let you in, don't be a sloth and delay everyone behind you or be indecisive after I gave you space and flashed my lights and even waved to you to move in and a friendly toot of the horn and still you hum and haw. That drives me nuts. If I let you in, don't be a zipper jam, get going!

                        The concept of zipper merging is NOT part of the traffic barrier polices and procedure manual that the COE has printed.
                        http://www.edmonton.ca/transportatio...tionSafety.pdf

                        The word zipper is not even mentioned and merge is barely mentioned. How can people know how to zipper merge when there is not even a policy for the Transportation Department?

                        If the guys installing the barriers also put cones between the two lanes on the approaches with only the intended zipper point left open, this problem would go away.

                        In emergency situations like at a traffic accident, often police do little to mitigate traffic tie ups in Edmonton. In the USA I see police taking proactive approaches. Holding back one lane and directing the other to pass through in blocks of 15 or 20 vehicles. Then alternating the lines for the other traffic. I also have seen police in the USA setting up just two comes and directing traffic to pass in two lanes by jogging over, one into the other lane and the second to jog over to the shoulder.

                        Like this
                        http://trafficsignstore.com/construction.html
                        Last edited by Edmonton PRT; 25-06-2014, 07:04 AM.
                        Advocating a better Edmonton through effective, efficient and economical transit.

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/ho...tion-1.1340869

                          If you look at their graphic (I know it is only a graphic) but in the "regular merge" the cars are going through more closely spaced and a more constant speed in the thru lane than their "zipper merge" example.

                          IMHO, both styles work if people are taught to be courteous and there is proper signage that each car is expected to let in one other car.
                          Last edited by Edmonton PRT; 25-06-2014, 07:11 AM.
                          Advocating a better Edmonton through effective, efficient and economical transit.

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Originally posted by Edmonton PRT View Post
                            Originally posted by Marcel Petrin View Post
                            Originally posted by Edmonton PRT
                            People butt in especially in expensive vehicles like they own the front of the line.
                            That's just your own preconceived notion. Do you have any empirical data to back up that claim? I could just as easily claim that jerks in jacked up pickups are the worst offenders. You don't have to own a German car to drive like a jerk.
                            Are not jacked up pickups "expensive vehicles" as well? I am glad we agree.
                            No, we don't, I was just using that as an example. I've been cut off by plenty of dummies driving 85 Tercels.

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              So you discriminate against 85 Trecels but not not '76 Datsun B210's? LOL

                              Ease up.
                              Advocating a better Edmonton through effective, efficient and economical transit.

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                I think the other issue too is enforcement. The police will be quick to jump on speeders (not saying it's acceptable but that's the least of my issues on the road) but I've never seen the police pull anyone over for cutting someone off or for completely ruining the flow of traffic due to a horrible merge.

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