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Lane Merges on Highways


CTcoastin
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When I was traveling on I-80 in PA last week, there was a sign about one lane up ahead due to construction. Everyone immediately got into one lane even though the closure wasn't for another couple miles. When I continued on in the other lane, a truck purposely moved over and blocked my way.

 

Is that some sort of PA thing? I've never seen such a thing before! Any place I've driven before, people always use both lanes until the last possible minute. Why would you get into one lane miles before you actually have to?

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This is a giant pet peeve of mine. If you get into the other lane miles before you have to there is (theoretically) a less likely chance of there being a lengthy traffic jam when you actually get to the merge.

 

I always hate the ignorant people who pass me while I am in the correct lane, only to realize the other lane ends in about fifty feet and then suddenly jerk in front of me.

 

Ugh. I hate driving.

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Typical California routine. As soon as I get on to a street, I'll get to the needed lane instead of waiting 1 block from the next stop light to make my left turn. I hate when people wait till that last second and cut me off. I notice this with freeways too that people tend to wait until the merging ends to get over. What would this world be without ignorant drivers?

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I have noticed this difference in Pennsylvania also.

 

I have not encountered it anywhere else, but if everyone would just get over as soon as possible it would help releive back-ups.

 

Of course out-of-state drivers from NY, NJ and CT always mess up the process.

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Holy crap this is one of the most annoying things I have dealt with driving. I hate when I get over and everyone else speeds past then decides to get over at the last min. They should have cops on bikes pulling people over for aggressive driving when they do this. I think a lot of traffic due to construction would die down if this problem were tackled.

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Sometimes I straddle the two merging lanes to keep people from cutting in front of me or zooming to the front like they have a FastPass or something. They don't realize that when everyone cuts in front of everyone else it slows everyone down.

 

Eric

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Sometimes I straddle the two merging lanes to keep people from cutting in front of me or zooming to the front like they have a FastPass or something. They don't realize that when everyone cuts in front of everyone else it slows everyone down.

 

They don't care either, as long as they get where they need to go. Everyone else on the road doesn't matter and are in their way. And that pretty much sums up driving.

 

Eric

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Lately in Pennsylvania they post signs saying "use both lanes until merge point."

 

I'm usually one to plan ahead and get over well in advance, but I also see the advantages of Pennsylvania's approach, especially at those merge points where there are chronic backups. Might as well use both lanes to "store" the backup in half the linear distance.

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Drivers in PA tend to drive better than MOST states. If you see that the left lane is closing in a mile you should move to the right lane so that traffic doesn't come to a stand still because all of the @$$ holes want to save two seconds of driving time by cutting off everyone!

 

I'll watch the people who are waiting for the last moment and typically they are from Maryland or New Jersey...

 

I lived in FL for a few years and they suck at being respectful drivers.

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When I was traveling on I-80 in PA last week, there was a sign about one lane up ahead due to construction. Everyone immediately got into one lane even though the closure wasn't for another couple miles. When I continued on in the other lane, a truck purposely moved over and blocked my way.

 

Is that some sort of PA thing? I've never seen such a thing before! Any place I've driven before, people always use both lanes until the last possible minute. Why would you get into one lane miles before you actually have to?

 

PA is home to the world's worst drivers. People who slow down at green lights just in case they might turn yellow, people who will NOT go faster than 5 mph below the speed limit. Construction zones for no reason, that seem to be set up for future construction... it never ends.

 

Pennsylvania sucks for driving!

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I despise when people wait until the last minute. I always move over well in advance (unless it's an unexpected merge, such as at an accident, etc).

 

I generally drive pretty big and/or powerful vehicles, and other than a couple of rentals I've had in the last couple months, the smallest car I've had over the years was my Monte Carlo, so I'm usually the one who laughs at people who try to squeeze in at the last minute and can't because they can't get around my (car's) fat ass.

 

This is actually a pretty big problem in my area, because there are probably a dozen or more roadwork projects going on at any given time within 20 miles of my house, some of which have been delayed for years.

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After living the last 5 yrs on one side and working on the other side of a bridge that is being rebuilt I have to merge in construction zones a lot. This is one subject that drives me crazy. I have researched this a little and have found that merging late, if done correctly is better and faster for everyone. There are numerous studies that prove this.

 

Just do a search in Google for traffic merge studies and you get several results from studies that states have done. I will admit that sometimes late merging is not good, but in construction zones and accident zones it is most of the time.

 

Here are some excerpts from one study MnDot did.

 

"Basically, we want drivers to know that under normal traffic speeds, they should try to merge early to avoid unsafe merging maneuvers; however, when traffic is congested, drivers should use both lanes all the way to the definite merge point,"

 

This was about late merging:

 

"One research paper stated that a study of operational effects of the Pennsylvania Late Merge increased the capacity of the merging operations by as much as 15 percent."

 

This is about early merging:

 

"In field tests performed in 1997, INDOT concluded that the system “smoothed the merging operations in advance of the lane closure.” The system did not however increase throughput."

 

I feel that if everyone used both lanes and took turns merging that there would be less anger from the drivers and everyone would get to their destination safer and faster.

 

Thank you for reading my diatribe about this.

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PA is home to the world's worst drivers. People who slow down at green lights just in case they might turn yellow, people who will NOT go faster than 5 mph below the speed limit. Construction zones for no reason, that seem to be set up for future construction... it never ends.

 

Pennsylvania sucks for driving!

 

I'm with you, Nicole! The most aggravating thing for me about PA drivers is that they stop on entrance ramps when entering a highway. To me, that lane is for accelerating and if you don't accelerate, you're never going to be able to merge. I guess it could be the NJ driver in me, but if you ever did such a thing in NJ, you'd get killed.

 

The other thing about PA is that people don't move into the intersections when making a left turn. They just sit behind the line and wait for the next green arrow. I know there are some intersections where that's the way it is, but I'm talking about the intersections where it's "left turn yield on green". If they would just move up into the intersection, 3 or so cars could turn before waiting for the next green arrow.

 

PA drivers also love driving in the left lane for no reason. I do so much passing in the right lane, it's ridiculous. Even being from NJ, I'm courteous enough to move to the right when I'm not passing.

 

That felt good to vent!

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Sue, I find that to be true in MD, Va. People love going slow in the fast lane.

 

While here in NJ, If you travel 55 North to 42 we have that infamous two to one lane that backs up for miles coming home from the shore. I've learned to drive right next to an 18 wheeler and coast along with them blocking both lanes. By doing this no one can cut either of us off and it makes for a better transition for the both of us.

 

I see trucks do this all the time on 1-80, 76 and 95.

 

Why would you get into one lane miles before you actually have to?

 

It's called common courtesy

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Don't hate me for saying this, but I'm one who would wait until the last minute to merge. The reason for that is because that's what I've seen done my entire life so that's become my way of thinking. I've actually never heard of or seen people get into one lane before a merge point.

 

I don't necessarily think it's a matter of right or wrong in this case. I think it has to do with where you're used to driving.

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On UK motorways you will see a HGV block (Travel at the same speed of the open lane) the lane which is due to close 9 times out of 10.

 

There is warning to get over so do it. If not there will be a huge bottle neck at the merge point. Believe it or not it actually speeds up the process overall.

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The other thing about PA is that people don't move into the intersections when making a left turn. They just sit behind the line and wait for the next green arrow. I know there are some intersections where that's the way it is, but I'm talking about the intersections where it's "left turn yield on green". If they would just move up into the intersection, 3 or so cars could turn before waiting for the next green arrow.

 

Wow, I didn't even know you people from Jersey KNEW how to make left turns. Next thing you'll tell me is that you guys actually know how to pump your own gas too.

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