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It’s Called “Zipper Merge”, And The DOT Says We Should Be Doing It

La Crosse, WI, United States / KICKS 106.3
It's Called "Zipper Merge", And The DOT Says We Should Be Doing It

Road construction season is in high gear, and it seems like there’s more orange out there than during hunting season. Maybe one of the most annoying things is when construction forces traffic down to one lane and everybody has to slow down and figure out how to merge. Well, ┬áthe Minnesota DOT says we all should be doing something called “Zipper Merging”. According to their website, “When a lane is closed in a construction zone, a zipper merge occurs when motorists use both lanes of traffic until reaching the defined merge area, and then alternate in “zipper” fashion into the open lane.” So let’s say the left lane is closed and everyone has to move to the right lane. Instead of trying to merge well ahead of time, drivers in the left-hand lane are supposed to continue driving in that lane until they reach the point of no return and then merge to the right, like a zipper.

Check out the Minnesota DOT’s official report here.

The problem is that most of us hate drivers who do this. I know if I’m in the right-hand lane and someone goes flying by all the way to the front, I frankly get ticked! It’s like I’m playing by the rules, don’t you try to “cut in line!” So from now on I’m going to drive all the way to the front and “zipper merge”. And if you see me going by you, don’t get mad. The DOT says it’s ok!

Tell me what you think: Does “zipper merging” tick you off? Does it make sense to do this?

My thanks to listener Amanda, who tipped me off to this. She agrees that it’s a good idea and doesn’t want to get yelled at either!



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