The Oregonian’s Joseph Rose is wished dead by an irate reader after discussing the potential benefits of “late merging.”
This made me all nostalgic as it was this kind of vitriol that launched me on the Traffic road: How could this simple activity stir such passion? While I am delighted to see the issue receiving further elaboration and exploration, I should only clarify here that I was not advocating a Universal Late Merge plan. There are circumstances where this behavior would actually make things worse. But the point was more that in certain scenarios, it would work better (better traffic flow, shorter queues, etc.), and that of course it would be better if drivers were instructed what to do — so as to not set off anger against the minority late merger position by early merge vigilantes — and then, having been instructed as how to properly merge, people then actually left these old prejudices behind (which trials have shown does not always happen).
But this is admittedly complex, for what makes late merging a better overall system for some highway segment may depend on a change to a certain level of congestion (in which case you’d need real-time ‘dynamic’ signage announcing the late merge), or it may depend on the number of lanes on the highway, or it may depend on the volume of trucks on a particular ‘facility.’ The correct cure depends on the set of symptoms.
This entry was posted on Tuesday, February 24th, 2009 at 3:53 pm and is filed under Drivers, Traffic Culture, Traffic Engineering, Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.