Wednesday, June 19, 2019

It really is OK to zipper merge, even if other Colorado drivers hate you for it

Zipper merge diagram. Image credit: NCSU

"Zipper merges" can be frustrating, but they are actually recommended by the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) and law enforcement. Zipper merges happen when drivers in the lane ending at a lane reduction point on the road merge with vehicles in the thru-lane in alternating fashion. By doing this, demand is distributed equally, reducing the delay at the reduction point.

The Coloradoan listed the following steps to zipper merges:
  • Vehicles should fill both lanes as long as possible
  • At the merge point, those in the thru-lane have the right of way and aren't required by law to let you merge
  • Use your blinkers to indicate you wish to merge and make eye contact with the driver of the thru-lane vehicle to make sure they are willing to let you merge
  • If allowed to merge, do so smoothly and at the pace of traffic
  • A courtesy thank-you wave never hurts
For more information, read the articles at the Coloradoan.

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