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  Reply # 1166726 2-Nov-2014 00:08
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bluedisk:
 

I don't get it, the passing lane is 1km long, why have a 2km queue when you can have a 1km queue by filling both lanes and then doing a nice orderly merge like a zip at the end ?




Because you are supposed to stay in the left hand lane unless overtaking. In this case there is nowhere to overtake to, they just end up pushing into the front of the queue. Even a blind man can see this is just queue jumping, a practice we abhor anywhere else.
Here in the Wellington area north of Waikanae, they have done away with the overtaking lane. It just gets drivers grumpy when they have been waiting patiently in the left lane, and they see others passing them, effectively extending their own waiting time. People just need to be patient and take their time in the queue.


I was overtaking ... up until the point where the pleb was straddling both lanes :-)  And to be honest I still overtook him since my car is only about a foot wide anyway, and then I joined the back of the queue in the second lane.






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  Reply # 1166728 2-Nov-2014 00:14
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I saw a few comments of how merging slows the traffic down ... personally I think that's incorrect so I had a quick google and found "pro-zipper" discussions ;-)

http://blogs.cars.com/kickingtires/2014/05/the-zipper-merge-convincing-motorists-isnt-a-snap.html
http://amasci.com/amateur/traffic/seatraf.html

Actually I think all the articles I read about zipper merging were talking about how much better for traffic flow it is ... maybe it's just this country where it doesn't work ? 

ckc

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  Reply # 1166730 2-Nov-2014 00:27
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Merging only slows traffic speed down when people don't merge properly, use proper following distances and don't reduce speed and increase following distance heading up to the merge point. Here the following distance and reducing speed are a big issue, but the bigger issue is that people often see a merge as a race to the front.

When you hit the merge point, people aren't lined up properly, they're going too fast and they're too close. Everyone has to brake and then there's that concertina effect, because everyone is braking, trying to avoid hitting each other and that slows all the traffic down.

Our roads are designed with a set of assumptions about driver behaviour in mind, and those assumptions are all wrong. Basically road design assumes we're courteous, patient and drive at speeds appropriate for the conditions at distances appropriate for the conditions. That's only true in a small percentage of cases.

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  Reply # 1166731 2-Nov-2014 00:28
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they are comparing zipper merge with single lane all the way, and zipper merge is superior

of course it would be. in single lane the whole way, if one car needs to scratch the nose or the bum the whole thing slows

in 2 lane with zipper merge, if one car slows down the other lane can stlll flow

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  Reply # 1168616 4-Nov-2014 16:27
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Jase2985: but there is 2 lanes, a queue in both lanes, its not queue jumping, its using the road as it was intended. and pushing to the front of the queue? really if the lane is there use it, if you choose not to dont complain.

"sorry you cant use the right lane because i dont want you to be able to merge/get in front of me"?

the keep left unless passing is irrelevant in that situation.

yes people need to be patient but if the road is there your suggesting that don't use it? its a bit draconian isn't it?

at the end of the day there is still the same amount of cars on the road, isnt it better they take up a small piece of road by using 2 lanes than take up more by using one and potentially impede traffic else where?

You're not going to be any better off though. Maybe in situations like the on-ramps lights if the tail ends up interfering with an intersection, but anywhere else, you don't win.

You have a line of cars driving along the road: a1b2c3d4e5f6
They arrive at the two lanes, joining alternately: abcdef, 123456
They merge like a zip at the end of the passing: a1b2c3d4e5f6

So, what's the point? Best case, it's exactly the same. Worst case, people merge like munters and slow everything down.

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  Reply # 1168655 4-Nov-2014 17:05
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If you go from Wellington to Upper Hutt or beyond during peak time only outsiders use the passing lanes 99% of people stick to the one lane without it even been coned off.

my main feeling for this is its only going to save mare seconds on getting to my destination than the hassle to merge at the other end.

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  Reply # 1168665 4-Nov-2014 17:23
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bazzer: You're not going to be any better off though. Maybe in situations like the on-ramps lights if the tail ends up interfering with an intersection, but anywhere else, you don't win.

You have a line of cars driving along the road: a1b2c3d4e5f6
They arrive at the two lanes, joining alternately: abcdef, 123456
They merge like a zip at the end of the passing: a1b2c3d4e5f6

So, what's the point? Best case, it's exactly the same. Worst case, people merge like munters and slow everything down.


in your scenario they they split into lanes evenly, form experience this hardly ever happens there is always one lane with a longer queue than the other. so sometimes you do win

but my comment was not about winning or loosing it was about using the lanes because they are there to be used, and that there is no reason to straddle lanes

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  Reply # 1168666 4-Nov-2014 17:25
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If I came up behind someone straddling 2 lanes I would be on the horn and the high beams till they got out of the way. Total ...hole thing to be doing. Hope they get a ticket for failing to stay in lane.




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  Reply # 1169220 5-Nov-2014 12:56
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Jase2985:
bazzer: You're not going to be any better off though. Maybe in situations like the on-ramps lights if the tail ends up interfering with an intersection, but anywhere else, you don't win.

You have a line of cars driving along the road: a1b2c3d4e5f6
They arrive at the two lanes, joining alternately: abcdef, 123456
They merge like a zip at the end of the passing: a1b2c3d4e5f6

So, what's the point? Best case, it's exactly the same. Worst case, people merge like munters and slow everything down.


in your scenario they they split into lanes evenly, form experience this hardly ever happens there is always one lane with a longer queue than the other. so sometimes you do win

but my comment was not about winning or loosing it was about using the lanes because they are there to be used, and that there is no reason to straddle lanes

The reason one lane is always longer than the other is that most people recognise that, overall, using both lanes is, at best, no different to using one lane. Of course, there are always people that decide to hit the shorter queue, but they must know that they are essentially jumping the queue. If everybody did what you suggest, then my scenario would be borne out, and no one would be better off. You're just taking advantage of the situation, in my opinion.

That's not to say passing lanes should never be used, of course they should, but in the case  that the queue extends over the entire passing lane then there's no point, unless you want to take personal advantage of it yourself. There is no way the passing lane can make the trip better for everybody.

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  Reply # 1169258 5-Nov-2014 13:56
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richms: If I came up behind someone straddling 2 lanes I would be on the horn and the high beams till they got out of the way. Total ...hole thing to be doing. Hope they get a ticket for failing to stay in lane.


You'd be pissed off even if lane 1 is full and you're effectively cutting in? ;)

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  Reply # 1169264 5-Nov-2014 14:05
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Not cutting in. Overtaking.




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  Reply # 1169269 5-Nov-2014 14:21
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If the road is bumper to bumper before and after the passing lane, using lane 2 to "overtake" is cutting in IMHO

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  Reply # 1169270 5-Nov-2014 14:21
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Somewhat related: If you are wondering if swapping in and out of lanes when its congestion on the road will get you there faster, you should watch the Mythbusters test:

http://autos.aol.com/article/is-it-faster-to-weave-in-and-out-of-traffic-or-stay-in-one-lane/




This really has reduced a lot of stress for me. Knowing that weaving in and out of traffic actually doesn't make a big difference (other than raising your stress levels) really is nice knowledge to have. Got to see it in practise in horrible Auckland traffic last time I was there, was fun to see how little help it was for the typical BMW and Audi drivers to practise their slalom lane swapping..




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  Reply # 1169286 5-Nov-2014 15:02
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nathan: If the road is bumper to bumper before and after the passing lane, using lane 2 to "overtake" is cutting in IMHO


Totally agree.

Over the 13 or so years I've driven between Wellington and PN I've noticed an increasing number of drivers simply avoid using the 'passing lane' in such circumstances, and just stick to the left-hand lane. There are, unfortunately, usually one two selfish plonkers who will ignore this otherwise common and sensible behaviour, just to get themselves ahead of other traffic but, also in the process, slow down the traffic due to the necessity for cars to now be merging. (A new classic messy point, though, is the new roundabout at Tirohanga - not really sure of the benefit of having two lanes coming off the roundabout when going north, given one ends a few hundred metres on - at peak flow people still use both lanes to the max, slowing traffic significantly where the lanes merge.)

Can't think of name for this kind of behaviour - can anyone help out? The situation where if most follow a particular course of action it will generally benefit all, but in doing so it also sets up the peverse incentive for those few that flout that course of action to benefit at an individual level at the cost of the majority. @rseholy springs to mind, but not sure if this is the technical term... 

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  Reply # 1169380 5-Nov-2014 16:28
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jonathan18: (A new classic messy point, though, is the new roundabout at Tirohanga - not really sure of the benefit of having two lanes coming off the roundabout when going north, given one ends a few hundred metres on - at peak flow people still use both lanes to the max, slowing traffic significantly where the lanes merge.)

Can't think of name for this kind of behaviour - can anyone help out? The situation where if most follow a particular course of action it will generally benefit all, but in doing so it also sets up the peverse incentive for those few that flout that course of action to benefit at an individual level at the cost of the majority. @rseholy springs to mind, but not sure if this is the technical term... 


Well, to answer the second question, in economics it's known as the tragedy of the commons.

The first part though, really gets me when it comes to motorway on-ramps. Two lanes merging into one heading onto the motorway is probably the most ridiculous and pointless thing I've ever seen. I think our road designers were last seen in the UK designing the New Towns.

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