Every now and again Bring Me The News finds itself in a position where it has to take a stand on something. This is once of those instances, because zipper merges are scientifically proven to reduce traffic congestion.
But for whatever reason, this notion manages to escape a sizable portion of the driving public. Slowdowns on I-394 and I-94 eastbound are far too often result of failed zipper merging, and lord knows there are dozens of other problem spots where greater zipper merging compliance would cut down on traffic headaches in the Twin Cities.
But hey, since some of you reading this are guilty, here's another reminder from some Minnesota cops about the effectiveness of the zipper merge.
As Eden Prairie police said in a news release Thursday, "it's time for all drivers to learn how to do the zipper merge." It really is sad that we're talking about this again, isn't it?
*Sigh* Here we go...
What is the “zipper merge”? It’s a type of merge that occurs when a roadway lane is closed for construction and motorists use BOTH lanes of traffic until reaching the defined merge area, and then alternate in "zipper" fashion into the open lane.
Merging before the zipper effect takes place screws it up for everyone else, and it's dangerous and can lead to serious accidents. MnDOT says the zipper merge is safer than merging early and cuts down on traffic backups by up to 40%.
Quite literally, you just have to stay in your lane until the merge forces you over. And as Eden Prairie PD notes, blasting by early mergers isn't rude, it's right.
"Minnesota residents can be hesitant to use the zipper method as they may feel like they are cheating and that other drivers could get angry with them. But it is not rude to use the zipper merge and, in fact, can save time for everyone waiting in line," explains Eden Prairie PD.
For a video on how the zipper merge works, here is a clip.