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Police Forum Police Head Mod: Skidmark
Questions & info about the Motor Vehicle Act. Mature discussion only.

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Old 05-28-2009, 06:29 PM   #1
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Behind the Wheel - Approaching Lane Closures

There is probably nowhere that the unofficial rules of the road are "enforced" by other drivers like that of the lane closure line up. You know, the long line up of traffic that forms on one side of the highway after drivers pass the lane closed ahead advisory signs. Drive by in the empty lane and I've seen people open their doors or swerve partially into that lane to let other drivers know that they are supposed to be in the line up, not using the capacity in the empty lane to get ahead.

The trouble is, this is not the best way to behave when traffic approaching the lane closure is heavier than what can be accommodated by a single lane. What everyone should do is be aware that the lane ends ahead, continue with caution using both lanes, and at the end merge like the teeth in a zipper before proceeding through the zone single file. This will move 15% more traffic than the situation where everyone moves over and lines up when they start to see the signs. If we're lucky, this method will only slow us down, but not cause us to wait in a line that is virtually stopped.

If traffic is light and no line has formed, merging early is perfectly acceptable. Due to the lower volume, a backup will not form to cause delay.

These practices are acceptable because the black on orange signs used in these situations are advisory. A driver can choose to take the advice (or not) as their experience, traffic and road conditions would dictate in the circumstances.

Flag persons, cones, barricades and the like are traffic control devices that must be obeyed. Once you reach them at the point where the lane is closed, it becomes an offence to fail to follow their requirements. Now you must move over as indicated, but not before.

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Old 05-29-2009, 10:32 AM   #2
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Personally what ticks me off is when I merge into the clear lane, only to see someone blasting by on the right, going to the end of their blocked lane, then bulling their way into the line adead of all those who did it properly. When I saw that happen on duty I would immediately stop the vehicle and do a THOROUGH DL and vehicle check, followe by a recitation of the section in the MV Act on unsafe passing on the right. That sometimes could take 10 or 15 minutes. I did what I could for the common good! Usually got lots of thumbs up from the other drivers. Coming out of Victoria on the Island, near Spencer Rd. was very bad for that. The cars would pass on the shoulder, duck into side roads and the gas station, then cut back in again. One guy on a motorcycle had a N DL...with no displayed N and a defective bike ( misisng parts) and was passing on the shoulder. We had a long chat, he got 3 VTs and a VI #2 and he missed his next ferry. Heard later that he was not too happy. He was so intent in his driving that he rode right past me on the shoulder while I sat on my fully-marked Police Harley in full uniform. He didn't see me at all.

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Old 05-29-2009, 12:13 PM   #3
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Personally what ticks me off is when I merge into the clear lane, only to see someone blasting by on the right, going to the end of their blocked lane, then bulling their way into the line ahead of all those who did it properly.
Um, what I am suggesting is that when traffic is heavy, using both lanes until the last instant and then merging one from the left, one from the right, one from the left IS the proper way to proceed.

The other situations that you describe like passing on the shoulder and such are deserving of some attention.
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Old 05-29-2009, 12:34 PM   #4
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I agree...what I'm talking about is when everybody has seen that the lane is ending up ahead, they can see the blocked lane, see the traffic cones and signs and have moved to the unblocked lane in "zipper fashion". Then these idiots go screaming by in the curb lane, past the merging vehicle then force their way into line ahead of them. The Smith System suggest that we take the lane of least resistance ( where have I heard that before?) early enought to avoid having to actually come to a full stop and let these cars in front. BTW...still enjoying fixing radios, as much as I am yapping on them?
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Old 05-29-2009, 01:24 PM   #5
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The Spencer intersection is notorious for people attempting to merge immediately after noticing the "lane ends ahead" sign instead of at the end of the lane as Skidmark describes.

They need a sign put up that looks like a big zipper and says "MERGE LIKE THIS"
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Old 05-29-2009, 02:09 PM   #6
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Too close to langford...they only allow buttons...zippers are just too high-skill for them
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Old 05-29-2009, 06:42 PM   #7
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What they need are signs that say "Merge Here" at the point where the merge must take place. This will tell some drivers what they don't know on their own.
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Old 05-29-2009, 07:19 PM   #8
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What they need are signs that say "Merge Here" at the point where the merge must take place. This will tell some drivers what they don't know on their own.
AMEN!!!

You are supposed to merge at the END of the merge lane, not when you first see the lane is going to end.

The road is there, it's paid for, USE IT.

It's better to have 2 short lines than 1 long line!!!
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Old 05-29-2009, 07:21 PM   #9
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Plus, if people merge at the END of the merge lane, where they are supposed to, it eliminates the possibly of people getting upset at other people for cruising down the empty lane and merging at the end. It's more fair, and more efficient. Think of the Lion's Gate bridge. Where do you merge at the Lion's gate bridge? At the bridge, not at Capilano & Marine.
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Old 05-30-2009, 01:52 PM   #10
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Too close to langford...they only allow buttons...zippers are just too high-skill for them
Velcro, anyone?
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Old 05-30-2009, 06:11 PM   #11
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Personally what ticks me off is when I merge into the clear lane, only to see someone blasting by on the right, going to the end of their blocked lane, then bulling their way into the line adead of all those who did it properly. When I saw that happen on duty I would immediately stop the vehicle and do a THOROUGH DL and vehicle check, followe by a recitation of the section in the MV Act on unsafe passing on the right. That sometimes could take 10 or 15 minutes.
If the right lane is still open and not yet blocked, and I decide to continue all the way to the end before merging, rather than wait in the gigantic queue that is forming in the left lane, what exactly is illegal about that?

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I agree...what I'm talking about is when everybody has seen that the lane is ending up ahead, they can see the blocked lane, see the traffic cones and signs and have moved to the unblocked lane in "zipper fashion". Then these idiots go screaming by in the curb lane, past the merging vehicle then force their way into line ahead of them.
If there is still room ahead before I am forced to merge due to the blockade, what exactly is wrong with that? If you choose to merge in the lineup earlier than necessary, that's your problem, not mine.
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Old 05-30-2009, 06:46 PM   #12
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Velcro, anyone?


Traffic flows so much better when people merge like teeth on a zipper.

Roaring past on the right and cutting in at the end is the ultimate example of douchebaggery.

It needs to be said that the cars in the through lane need to allow space for people to merge from the closed lane. It can't all be up to the mergers.
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Old 05-30-2009, 07:04 PM   #13
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some times I just drive down the center line in cases like this...
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Old 05-30-2009, 07:08 PM   #14
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If the right lane is still open and not yet blocked, and I decide to continue all the way to the end before merging, rather than wait in the gigantic queue that is forming in the left lane, what exactly is illegal about that?

.
it's unmoral
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Old 05-30-2009, 09:35 PM   #15
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if "unmoral" means: "not feeling bad about pissing off people who are too stupid to use the empty lane" - then yeah, it's unmoral.



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Traffic flows so much better when people merge like teeth on a zipper.

Roaring past on the right and cutting in at the end is the ultimate example of douchebaggery.
The zipper (merge point) is supposed to be where the lane ends, not a mile ahead when you first see it. If you merge early and leave that road on the table, you're the douchebag. You're just jumping the gun and backing up traffic behind you early.

At the end of the day, getting everyone to form a single line as early as possible is a theoretical pipe dream. It nevers happens in real life. Someone (usually a lot of people) always blast down the empty lane and cut in at the end. The solution is not to leave an empty lane. Merge at the end of the lane, and no one can "cheat" or "cut in" - problem solved.
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Old 05-31-2009, 03:57 AM   #16
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LGB is a good case in point. On the North side, drivers are much more civil and follow the zipper rule. On the south side, it's chaos.
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Old 06-01-2009, 01:09 PM   #17
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As some might have said, if the volume of traffic can be accommodated the single through lane, it's much faster if cars just lined up instead of merging at the end. since we're all humans, there will be a lot of stoppage when merging because some people just don't provide adequate spacing. It will never be seamless like a zipper. However, if cars just lined up, it's basically like proceding through any intersection. Traffic flows smoothly and there's no stoppage except when there's a red light.

If the volume is traffic is too high then both lanes should be used to prevent the lineup from extending too far.
Of course, in either of these situations there will always be people cutting in on the right.

So one might say, IRL, it's best to just have 2 lines, one in each lane and merge at the end. That eliminates any complaints of people cutting in at the end.

That's the only frustrating thing about driving, people are always impatient. You have idiots changing lanes 20 times during rush hour traffic even when it's pretty damn clear that all lanes are packed. You can be driving at 70 down 1st ave during rush hour (Terminal Ave westbound down the bridge), and there will STILL be idiots passing you even when the other lane has another car just 30 feet up ahead, in other words, it makes no difference really.
In the case of merging, even if the lineup was perfectly setup (volume of traffic not that high), there will STILL be some asses who will switch to the other lane and cut in at the end.

You can't win. Best thing to do is hope they choke on a bug or something and run straight into the concrete (if applicable) at the end where the lane ends.
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Old 06-01-2009, 01:15 PM   #18
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If the right lane is still open and not yet blocked, and I decide to continue all the way to the end before merging, rather than wait in the gigantic queue that is forming in the left lane, what exactly is illegal about that?



If there is still room ahead before I am forced to merge due to the blockade, what exactly is wrong with that? If you choose to merge in the lineup earlier than necessary, that's your problem, not mine.
Nothing illegal. Just exemplies douchebaggery.
Note, I'm only saying that if the lineup isn't that long. If it's a really long line, then I totally see the argument that both lanes should be used. That's perfectly fine and I will use the lane myself.
But if the lineup isn't even that long, and someone just decides to cut in at the end, then they are being asses and putting themselves first before others. If the lineup isn't that long and the single lane is adequate, then as I mentioned, proceding through in a single file is much more efficient then the stop and go that results with merging. Most people can't merge "smoothly", you always have to watch the other driver, and provide spacing. A lot of factors are taken into account, a lot of hesitation by drivers, and so it's never seamless. Thus it is much faster to go in a single file because there's no stoppage whatsoever.

This is like why having traffic lights is MUCH more efficient and faster than having 4 way stops at every intersection. Ever drive on a big street where the traffic light is broken? (Referring to intersection of 2 big streets). Even when traffic isn't that heavy it still takes forever to cross.
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Old 06-05-2009, 04:07 PM   #19
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In the mornings going southbound on the 99 before the Massey Tunnel the left lane closes due to the counter-flow lane. There is always a long lineup of cars in the right hand lane because people seem to not want to merge where the lane ends.

I'd say about 2/5 days a week trucks will block the left hand lane forcing people into the right lane, or forcing people to wait behind them in the left lane. I wouldn't mind so much if they did this near the merge point, but they do it about 1/2km before or wherever the end of the lineup is. It creates huge amounts of backlog behind them. Is this legal? Is there some way to get a cop out there once in a while to check this like they do w/ HOV lanes?
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Old 06-05-2009, 04:29 PM   #20
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What there should be is big ass signs that say MERGE AHEAD, and then MERGE HERE.
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Old 06-07-2009, 12:59 PM   #21
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What there should be is big ass signs that say MERGE AHEAD, and then MERGE HERE.
In some places in the Excited States, this is exactly what is posted. We should follow....
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Old 06-07-2009, 02:48 PM   #22
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^They also have direct, meaningful signs like KEEP RIGHT EXCEPT TO PASS - STRICTLY ENFORCED, as opposed to wimpy suggestions like SLOWER TRAFFIC KEEP RIGHT (MAYBE? PLEASE? IF YOU FEEL LIKE IT?)
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