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(Ars Technica)   Merging late is better than merging as soon as it is safe. But we still hate you for it   (arstechnica.com) divider line 184
    More: Interesting, Minnesota Department of Transportation, lane closures, Department of Transportation  
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5860 clicks; posted to Main » on 24 Jul 2014 at 6:57 PM (31 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



184 Comments   (+0 »)
   
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2014-07-24 05:07:50 PM  
I've been pleasantly surprised at how drivers around MPLS have actually adopted the 'take turns at the merge point'/zipper merge in heavy traffic. I've seen less and less of the "lane blocker" enforcing their how idea of fairness by straddling two lanes, i.e. "Ain't no body passing me!"

You'll still see it from time to time, but a lot less than I would have expected. And what do you know, it works.

//some will get mad when a car passes them in a backup, but maybe they get mad every time a car passes them, ever
 
2014-07-24 05:11:45 PM  
If zipper merging actually worked, then we wouldn't get two mile long backups whenever there's an accident on the road.

But it doesn't work.
 
2014-07-24 05:23:58 PM  
This is America.  We don't share, and we don't take turns.
 
2014-07-24 05:24:18 PM  
What I hate is people who stop in this situation (where the white suv is) instead of using the turn lane as an on-ramp
i.imgur.com
 
2014-07-24 05:31:02 PM  
Yes, well there's another name for 'zipper mergers' that blaze past standstill traffic and force their SUV in front of those of us that have been crawling along on I-5 through Seattle in the middle of the goddamn day but i am too polite to say it on a public website.
You know who you are.

/squinty eyes
 
2014-07-24 05:49:59 PM  
Yeah this is one of those things that sounds great *in theory*, but in real life, drivers are incompetent, assholes, or both.
 
2014-07-24 06:01:45 PM  
Early mergers are pussies and their act then creates this whole problem in the first place because then the people behind have to merge early. Soon it gets all buggered up because nobody knows where the hell to merge so they cruise up and fill then lane again, pissing off everyone who already took a bullet in the early merge.

Drive to the end of your goddamn lane and merge, then nobody don't need to go thinkin' about nuttin'.
 
2014-07-24 06:46:57 PM  

Barfmaker: Early mergers are pussies and their act then creates this whole problem in the first place because then the people behind have to merge early. Soon it gets all buggered up because nobody knows where the hell to merge so they cruise up and fill then lane again, pissing off everyone who already took a bullet in the early merge.

Drive to the end of your goddamn lane and merge, then nobody don't need to go thinkin' about nuttin'.


A road I drive frequently has this problem every day.  It's 3 lanes until right before the source of the bottleneck (2 lane bridge).  There's a merge onto the third lane a few hundred meters long before the bottleneck.  People coming in immediately try to merge left (attempting to be courteous), but in the act end up backing traffic up the ramp and into the intersection from where it comes.  Consequently, some traffic moves around them in the shoulder to get further up the lane and merge in, and it becomes a free for all.  If they'd just use the lane as it was intended, they'd be doing everyone a favour.
 
2014-07-24 06:47:52 PM  

Lando Lincoln: If zipper merging actually worked, then we wouldn't get two mile long backups whenever there's an accident on the road.


That has less to do with a failure of zipper merging, and more to do with the fact that we don't drag rubberneckers from their cars and beat them with canes.
 
2014-07-24 07:00:10 PM  
zipper merge you slow ass traffic blocking motherfarkers!  it's science!
 
2014-07-24 07:00:16 PM  

Lando Lincoln: If zipper merging actually worked, then we wouldn't get two mile long backups whenever there's an accident on the road.

But it doesn't work.


The only reason zipper merging "doesn't work" is because self-important mouthbreathing derps declare it doesn't work, and then merge like assholes, thereby breaking the zipper.

I recommend reeducation camps.

Now, the flip side of this is the people who try to  diverge onto an exit late (usually well into the painted "don't farking drive here, stupid" zone).  Those people should be shot out of a cannon.  Get in line, asshole.
 
2014-07-24 07:01:06 PM  
Bret Easton Ellis approves.
 
2014-07-24 07:01:58 PM  
The problem with the zipper merge is that real ife humans aren't anything like theoretical humans.
 
2014-07-24 07:02:13 PM  

Pocket Ninja: Lando Lincoln: If zipper merging actually worked, then we wouldn't get two mile long backups whenever there's an accident on the road.

That has less to do with a failure of zipper merging, and more to do with the fact that we don't drag rubberneckers from their cars and beat them with canes.


tire irons would be convenient and logical.

/they'll just claim they are slowing down for safety.
 
2014-07-24 07:03:31 PM  
I've never minded the zipper merge. The inefficiency is that people are trying two different things (early merge and late merge), causing oscillations in traffic.

This, however, drives me into a blind rage:

img.fark.net

These people should be dragged from their cars and shot in front of their children.
 
2014-07-24 07:04:44 PM  

Contrabulous Flabtraption: What I hate is people who stop in this situation (where the white suv is) instead of using the turn lane as an on-ramp
[i.imgur.com image 850x414]


I've seen that before. That is the worst.
 
2014-07-24 07:05:14 PM  
Hawaii resident, and I think the zipper merge mentality is just ingrained in the local population.  If everyone agrees to do it, it works more often than it doesn't.
 
2014-07-24 07:06:06 PM  

Fonaibung: I've never minded the zipper merge. The inefficiency is that people are trying two different things (early merge and late merge), causing oscillations in traffic.

This, however, drives me into a blind rage:

[img.fark.net image 800x600]

These people should be dragged from their cars and shot in front of their children.


YES! That's the maneuver I was talking about here:

China White Tea: Now, the flip side of this is the people who try to  diverge onto an exit late (usually well into the painted "don't farking drive here, stupid" zone).  Those people should be shot out of a cannon.  Get in line, asshole.


There should be some sort of orbital Rods-from-God satellite system that identifies and smites people doing that shiat.
 
2014-07-24 07:06:37 PM  
I never early merge. It just backs up traffic more. I also don't rubberneck, so it evens out.
 
2014-07-24 07:07:25 PM  

Pocket Ninja: That has less to do with a failure of zipper merging, and more to do with the fact that we don't drag rubberneckers from their cars and beat them with canes.


Pocket Ninja got it, of course. Nothing can fix the fact that you're narrowing the road to zero lanes every instant that you're not focused on the simple task of driving past the obstruction. The rest is trivia.

The only important thing is freeing up that patch of pavement that can hold only a single car at a time, and the longer you hold it, the more you waste the time of every single person on the road. When the backup is long, it's not impossible for you to waste entire lifetimes in aggregate, and as far as I'm concerned your life is forfeit.
 
2014-07-24 07:09:53 PM  

Contrabulous Flabtraption: What I hate is people who stop in this situation (where the white suv is) instead of using the turn lane as an on-ramp
[i.imgur.com image 850x414]


he doesn't have a turn arrow, still has to come to a stop before making the turn. Go review Rules of the Road
 
2014-07-24 07:10:19 PM  

Fonaibung: I've never minded the zipper merge. The inefficiency is that people are trying two different things (early merge and late merge), causing oscillations in traffic.

This, however, drives me into a blind rage:

[img.fark.net image 800x600]

These people should be dragged from their cars and shot in front of their children.


This.
 
2014-07-24 07:10:35 PM  
^what those guys said. Whenever I get behind a rubbernecker I lay on the horn. Yeah, it's a fender bender that caused us to get down to one lane, now turn your head forward and farking go.
 
2014-07-24 07:10:43 PM  
img.fark.net

/oblig
 
2014-07-24 07:10:55 PM  
Early merging is not smart driving. it causes unnecessary problems on the roads and wastes your time. If you do it, you're just making your own drive worse.

Merging early and then getting mad at people who correctly merge late is like blowing your entire paycheck on lottery tickets and then getting mad at people who still have money. Don't get mad at them for being a smarter driver than you. Instead, learn to be a better driver.
 
2014-07-24 07:11:46 PM  

chitownmike: Contrabulous Flabtraption: What I hate is people who stop in this situation (where the white suv is) instead of using the turn lane as an on-ramp
[i.imgur.com image 850x414]

he doesn't have a turn arrow, still has to come to a stop before making the turn. Go review Rules of the Road


Wrong
 
2014-07-24 07:12:28 PM  

JoieD'Zen: Yes, well there's another name for 'zipper mergers' that blaze past standstill traffic and force their SUV in front of those of us that have been crawling along on I-5 through Seattle in the middle of the goddamn day but i am too polite to say it on a public website.
You know who you are.

/squinty eyes


Farktards?
 
2014-07-24 07:12:36 PM  

Fonaibung: I've never minded the zipper merge. The inefficiency is that people are trying two different things (early merge and late merge), causing oscillations in traffic.

This, however, drives me into a blind rage:



These people should be dragged from their cars and shot in front of their children.


Good lord, that annoys the hell out of me. Why do people think that is even safe or acceptable? You screwed up, take the next exit!
 
2014-07-24 07:12:54 PM  

Gone to Plaid: Hawaii resident, and I think the zipper merge mentality is just ingrained in the local population.  If everyone agrees to do it, it works more often than it doesn't.


That's one that that gets done right here. Don't get me started on the non-synced traffic lights though.Even third world countries sync their farking traffic lights.
 
2014-07-24 07:13:04 PM  
Washington, Minnesota officially endorse a "safer, faster" merge. Does it work?

Yes. There have been repeated studies (too lazy to look them up again) that show that zipper merging works.
 
2014-07-24 07:14:08 PM  
And let's not forget the people who tailgate a merging car and swoop in right behind them out of selfishness, thereby breaking the zipper formation.

When I am supreme ruler of the earth, that move becomes a capital offense. No trial.
 
2014-07-24 07:15:08 PM  
Zipper merge is the way to go. With one qualification: if you are driving past a bunch of "early merging pussies" do not zoom past them all at Warp Factor Seven, slam on your breaks 20 yards *past* the end of the your lane, and force your way in. Pass the pussies at a reasonable speed and try to find a spot to "zipper" into the line near the end without causing anyone to have a heart attack.

/zipper merger
//but I live in Seattle so I try not to be a dick about it as I pass all those pussies who merge early
 
2014-07-24 07:15:18 PM  

The Banana Thug: Fonaibung: I've never minded the zipper merge. The inefficiency is that people are trying two different things (early merge and late merge), causing oscillations in traffic.

This, however, drives me into a blind rage:

These people should be dragged from their cars and shot in front of their children.

Good lord, that annoys the hell out of me. Why do people think that is even safe or acceptable? You screwed up, take the next exit!


They didn't screw up, is the real problem.  It wasn't an, "Oops, didn't realize this was my exit."  Oh, sure, that may happen with the occasional out-of-towner, whatever, but locals during rush hour?  That's just, "Yeah, I'm too important to wait in line with the rest of you, so I'll just drive to the end and shove my way in."

I kind of feel like that painted no-man's-land that frequently exists between the exit and the road should contain land mines.
 
2014-07-24 07:16:17 PM  

chitownmike: Contrabulous Flabtraption: What I hate is people who stop in this situation (where the white suv is) instead of using the turn lane as an on-ramp
[i.imgur.com image 850x414]

he doesn't have a turn arrow, still has to come to a stop before making the turn. Go review Rules of the Road


You'd be correct if there was a traffic light on the far right. When one is not present you are not supposed to stop unless yielding to pedestrians
 
2014-07-24 07:16:19 PM  
I merge early just for the chance to force a late merger to choose between slamming on her brakes or running into the safety barrier. And then I am cheered by schadenfreude the rest of the commute.
 
2014-07-24 07:16:24 PM  

vernonFL: Yeah this is one of those things that sounds great *in theory*, but in real life, drivers are incompetent, assholes, or both.


The problem is that too many drivers feel their manhood is compromised if they let other vehicles merge in front of them.

So they ride the bumper of the car in front of them.

s23.postimg.org
And the green, blue and yellow car close the ranks up, too.
Gasoline and testosterone is a bad mix.
I sometimes wish the cops would do the right thing and treat following too closely and refusing to allow a merge with the same enthusiasm as they do for speeding. All they need is a dash cam trained on the road ahead They (and the insurance companies!) would make a killing and those of us that don't consider driving as a penile extension.
 
2014-07-24 07:16:28 PM  

chitownmike: Contrabulous Flabtraption: What I hate is people who stop in this situation (where the white suv is) instead of using the turn lane as an on-ramp
[i.imgur.com image 850x414]

he doesn't have a turn arrow, still has to come to a stop before making the turn. Go review Rules of the Road


He doesn't need a turn arrow. He has his own independent lane. If there was any kind of control on it, it would be to the right of the lane in the form of a light or a sign. There is neither so he proceeds a normal speed.
 
2014-07-24 07:16:33 PM  
people are idiots and don't know how to merge
 
2014-07-24 07:17:13 PM  
You know what's f*cked up? Probably 3/4's of the people in this thread advocating for zipper merging are probably those dickheads that intentionally speed up to prevent someone from "getting ahead" of them.
 
2014-07-24 07:17:34 PM  

Contrabulous Flabtraption: What I hate is people who stop in this situation (where the white suv is) instead of using the turn lane as an on-ramp
[i.imgur.com image 850x414]


He's got a red light, numnutz.

JoieD'Zen: Yes, well there's another name for 'zipper mergers' that blaze past standstill traffic and force their SUV in front of those of us that have been crawling along on I-5 through Seattle in the middle of the goddamn day


Smart.

Just because your dumb ass is so stupid you got into "crawl" traffic as soon as possible doesn't make the other guy a jerk.
 
2014-07-24 07:17:54 PM  

chitownmike: Contrabulous Flabtraption: What I hate is people who stop in this situation (where the white suv is) instead of using the turn lane as an on-ramp
[i.imgur.com image 850x414]

he doesn't have a turn arrow, still has to come to a stop before making the turn. Go review Rules of the Road


If I remember those rules correctly on a dedicated turn right-of-the-red, that is a yield scenario, not a full stop scenario.
 
2014-07-24 07:18:25 PM  
Wait... is the point either trying to merge into stopped traffic early versus trying to merge into stopped traffic at the end of the lane? Because of course utilizing more of all lanes will reduce traffic congestion in a single lane, but the primary reason this works with actual drivers is due to how wave functions work, with early mergers trying to minimize use of acceleration and braking, thereby giving openings which are taken by late mergers. However, I would argue late mergers are likelier to cause an accident overall, and the behavior is not beneficial because these are the types who assume the single car-length of space is not a too small buffer but an opportunity to hop lanes, especially without signaling.
 
2014-07-24 07:18:57 PM  
Zipper merging goes against the nature of keep right except to pass. Washington is getting all kinds of farked up traffic-wise because of all these changes in driving mentality. I blame the implants that were kicked out of California for being unable to drive.
 
2014-07-24 07:19:19 PM  

chitownmike: Contrabulous Flabtraption: What I hate is people who stop in this situation (where the white suv is) instead of using the turn lane as an on-ramp
[i.imgur.com image 850x414]

he doesn't have a turn arrow, still has to come to a stop before making the turn. Go review Rules of the Road


Ummm, it appears he has an acceleration lane when he finishes the turn.  He should use it.
 
2014-07-24 07:19:32 PM  

ElLoco: chitownmike: Contrabulous Flabtraption: What I hate is people who stop in this situation (where the white suv is) instead of using the turn lane as an on-ramp
[i.imgur.com image 850x414]

he doesn't have a turn arrow, still has to come to a stop before making the turn. Go review Rules of the Road

If I remember those rules correctly on a dedicated turn right-of-the-red, that is a yield scenario, not a full stop scenario.


Sometimes when yielding you have to stop.
 
2014-07-24 07:19:36 PM  

TinyFist: You know what's f*cked up? Probably 3/4's of the people in this thread advocating for zipper merging are probably those dickheads that intentionally speed up to prevent someone from "getting ahead" of them.


You should shake something in impotent frustration
 
2014-07-24 07:20:16 PM  
I once participated in a perfect zipper merge in LA.  Still brings a tear to the eye it was so beautiful.

I try not to merge early, but I'm never sure what to do when I'm already in the lane being merged into.  Part of me is so annoyed by all the early mergers I want to get into the other lane and drive to the front, the other part of me feels like this is an asshole move.
 
2014-07-24 07:20:56 PM  

TinyFist: You know what's f*cked up? Probably 3/4's of the people in this thread advocating for zipper merging are probably those dickheads that intentionally speed up to prevent someone from "getting ahead" of them.


Yeah, I like making things up to get angry about them, too.
 
2014-07-24 07:21:52 PM  

TinyFist: You know what's f*cked up? Probably 3/4's of the people in this thread advocating for zipper merging are probably those dickheads that intentionally speed up to prevent someone from "getting ahead" of them.


I zipper merge and I let others zipper in front of me as well. Otherwise the system breaks down.  I don't speed up to prevent people from merging, that's just stupid. I will, however, not stop and let everyone merge. I let one person merge, then I move ahead, and the next person in line merges behind me.

Yeah, the people who won't let anyone merge are dicks, but you'll find just as many in the early mergers line.
 
2014-07-24 07:22:49 PM  
Merge at the merge point.  I'm not sitting in a stopped lane when there's a thousand feet of empty road next to me, I don't care how throbby your head vein gets.  And as far as that off-ramp graphic, there's always drivers that leave twenty car lengths in front of them...I'll pull in front of that guy and you'll never notice.
 
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