Zipper Merging in Construction Zones. Helpful or Infuriating to You?
Are you cool with "zipper merging" in construction zones or does it drive you crazy?
If there is one thing we are all familiar with in Michigan, it's construction zones. But did you know there is an actual way to merge down to one lane? It is called zipper merging. Let me try to explain.
Zipper merging is when two lanes of traffic combine down to one lane in a construction zone. Imagine you are driving down a two-lane portion of I-75 and see signs that the left lane is closed ahead in two miles. Many drivers begin to work their way to the right lane as soon as they safely can. However, zipper merging is designed to keep both lanes in use all the way up to the merge point. The two lanes of traffic are supposed to take turns at the merge point and get down to one lane, when resembles the teeth on a zipper, hence the name. (See video for details.)
Almost all of us have seen drivers get to the right lane miles ahead of time. This normally leaves the left lane open, which goes against the zipper merging idea. I'm pretty sure it is safe to say that we have all cussed out another car that has gone cruising by us in the open left lane all the way up to the merge point. However, technically they aren't doing anything wrong. We just assume they are aholes that think their time is more important than ours.
Honestly, I have never heard of zipper merging until today. I feel if more people knew about it, less road rage would be out there in the construction zones. Sometimes drivers will take it upon themselves to block those drivers in the left lane, which can cause more of a problem or an accident.
What are your thoughts though? Will you continue to get over as early as you can or use the open lane all the way up to the merge point?
Source: Michigan Department of Transportation
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