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Dual carriageway into single carriageway with traffic backed up on lane 1. Do you :-
Join L1 and wait passively. 18%  18%  [ 8 ]
Join L1 but suffer annoyance if someone goes past in L2 2%  2%  [ 1 ]
Join L1 but attempt to 'block' L2 11%  11%  [ 5 ]
Use L2 with some feeling of guilt 16%  16%  [ 7 ]
Use L2 without hesitation 52%  52%  [ 23 ]
Total votes : 44
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2007 14:08 
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SafeSpeed wrote:
So far we have 7 people happily using L2 (number 5s) and 3 people (number 3s) who wish to block them.

This isn't good.


Why's that then? :wink:

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2007 14:13 
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By "block L2" do we mean physically block the lane, or block entry into L1 to those in L2 by closing up?

(both bad IMO)

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2007 14:17 
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gopher wrote:
By "block L2" do we mean physically block the lane, or block entry into L1 to those in L2 by closing up?

(both bad IMO)


To move across and stop traffic moving down L2. Lorries tend to do this.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2007 15:04 
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Grumpy Old Biker wrote:
gopher wrote:
By "block L2" do we mean physically block the lane, or block entry into L1 to those in L2 by closing up?

(both bad IMO)


To move across and stop traffic moving down L2. Lorries tend to do this.


Yes I've seen this, even block L3 where they should not even be.

Perhaps my latter example should also have been an option, this also happens frequently.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2007 15:08 
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My theory is to merge into the appropriate lane as soon as I can after I'm aware there's a lane restriction.

The reason behind this is that the way I see it, the less cars trying to merge at the last minute the less congestion there'll be in the appropriate lane.

I wouldn't dream of blocking the redundant lane but drivers belting up the redundant lane till the last gasp really put my nose out of joint. Don't get me wrong, I know it's not easy to merge sometimes and I do try to make concessions for drivers who genuinely are trying to merge gracefully, but I have been known not to yeild to the one's who leave it to the last minute. (Sorry)

There's actually a really stupid stretch of road near where I live that opens to two lanes for about 2 - 300 yards before a set of traffic lights then changes back to single lane immediately after the lights. There's signs to merge almost immediately after it splits but still there's 2@'s charging up L2 to get a whole ten seconds ahead then barging in after the lights consequently directly causing L1 to become congested. That does warm my bladder somewhat.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2007 15:42 
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The reason behind this is that the way I see it, the less cars trying to merge at the last minute the less congestion there'll be in the appropriate lane.


No, you're just wasting road space.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2007 15:44 
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Big Rod wrote:
My theory is to merge into the appropriate lane as soon as I can after I'm aware there's a lane restriction.

I wouldn't dream of blocking the redundant lane but drivers belting up the redundant lane till the last gasp really put my nose out of joint. Don't get me wrong, I know it's not easy to merge sometimes and I do try to make concessions for drivers who genuinely are trying to merge gracefully, but I have been known not to yeild to the one's who leave it to the last minute. (Sorry)


This is interesting.

I think that there is a 'timing' element to the use of L2. Go too far and expect the seas to open for you will generate more ill feeling than merging some way down the queue.

I also think we instinctively know when we reach the 'polite' place to merge.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2007 16:17 
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Grumpy Old Biker wrote:
This is interesting.

I think that there is a 'timing' element to the use of L2. Go too far and expect the seas to open for you will generate more ill feeling than merging some way down the queue.

I also think we instinctively know when we reach the 'polite' place to merge.


Thats about the extent of it GOB. Driving lore seems to dictate that one merges early and suffer the consequences of so doing, i.e. you may have to wait slightly longer than if you had merged later.
Act against this unwritten rule and, irrespective of the reasons you may have, you are entering in to a potential 'road rage' scenario. I have witnessed (not experienced) it, and it was quite unpleasant.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2007 16:21 
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Johnnytheboy wrote:
No, you're just wasting road space.


So don't you think it's better to allow more time to merge gracefully to promote smoother flow of traffic through the restriction rather than have everyone fighting for position at the bottleneck?

And how am I wasting roadspace when I'm allowing more space for other vehicles to adjust their speed and position to merge?

Not getting you Johnny, sorry.

Add to the fact that there's a good chance I'd be in the appropriate lane in the first place, I don't see any reason to be changing lanes only to resume into the original lane a few car lengths along.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2007 16:29 
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Big Rod wrote:
Johnnytheboy wrote:
No, you're just wasting road space.


So don't you think it's better to allow more time to merge gracefully to promote smoother flow of traffic through the restriction rather than have everyone fighting for position at the bottleneck?

And how am I wasting roadspace when I'm allowing more space for other vehicles to adjust their speed and position to merge?

Not getting you Johnny, sorry.


I don't think you are really at odds with each other, Johnny's right it is a waste of road space, and you are right it is good to merge smoothly with as much space as possible. (and I don't think Johnny meant otherwise)

We should be able to do both, merge late, smoothly and with space, however are unable to unless directed (by road markings signs etc) mainly down to bad driver attitudes I think.

Just a few weeks back I was driving in the Manchester area where traffic was warned that a lane merge was ahead but to stay in lane. Chevrons appeared on the road keeping the gap wide, then vehicles were advised to merge in turn. All did, speed reduced a bit but no queues, horns etc and everyone kept moving.

This is exactly as it should happen anyway, and there was no evidence at all of any upset from any drivers, so why such frustration when we have to think for ourselves?

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Last edited by gopher on Tue Apr 17, 2007 16:30, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2007 16:29 
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Grumpy Old Biker wrote:
This is interesting.

I think that there is a 'timing' element to the use of L2. Go too far and expect the seas to open for you will generate more ill feeling than merging some way down the queue.

I also think we instinctively know when we reach the 'polite' place to merge.


Well, when there's been half a mile of warning that there's a lane restriction, I don't think there's any excuse for someone leaving it to the very last minute to squeeze in.

It's one thing if there's an obvious point of entry into the open lane and the driver deems it necessary to accelerate to use it, but generally speaking I don't think that's the case. I repeatedly witness drivers screaming up to the bottleneck then literally force their way into the free lane. Not nice!!

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2007 16:31 
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gopher wrote:
I don't think you are really at odds with each other


Fair enough.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2007 16:43 
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gopher wrote:
This is exactly as it should happen anyway, and there was no evidence at all of any upset from any drivers, so why such frustration when we have to think for ourselves?


Its amazing isn't it? As long as we are all following the same basic guidelines, everyone seems quite happy. Leave it to the individual to think for themselves and different behaviours that result from variations in decision making can lead to raised tempers and even fisticuffs!


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2007 16:54 
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The last big discussion of the issues was here: http://www.safespeed.org.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?t=5716 - a ten page thread with some interesting points raised.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2007 17:34 
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I think a lot of it comes down to our British obsession with queuing! I'm reliably informed that the subconscious motive behind this is not our innate politeness, but a desire to make sure that noone who arrives after us gets to the front before us. Clearly this can manifest unfavourably in situations such as the one we are discussing.

Incidentally, if those 'blockers' were to drive ever so slightly slower to allow gaps to open up for 'zip merging' then everyone, themselves included, would clear the obstruction faster. I for one would love to see an attitude of 'working together' on the roads, rather than 'every Jack man for himself'. I do try to promote it, and whenever I can I yield to people, even if they've 'jumped the queue', with a friendly wave.

I am sure that the health effects of the warm fuzzy it gives me helping other road users are much more positive than the rage of indignation some people produce when they convince themselves that someone has taken an unfair advantage over them on the roads.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2007 20:48 
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I entirely agree that the manouevre should be performed smoothly; if L1 and L2 merged in turn, this would occur.

However, if they wanted the lanes to merge half a mile back from the cones, they'd put the cones half a mile back from where they did.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2007 21:18 
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I intended to post this much earlier, but have been pushed for time...
SafeSpeed wrote:
So far we have 7 people happily using L2 (number 5s) and 3 people (number 3s) who wish to block them.

This isn't good.

Would any of those of you who went for the third option care to explain why you would do that?

Well as is the way with these, there are such a wide variety of situations to which the scenario could be applied.
The situation which springs to mind was this:

When Barton Bridge over the Manchester Ship Canal was being widened, and there was a lot of work on the entire length of the Bridge, the middle lane was coned off for some length.
On the approach to the bridge were signs telling of the impending closure, then a series of signs saying "lane closed ahead 600 yds" "400 yds" and "200 yds" before finally the cones shut off the lane.
I was in a long line of traffic in lane one travelling at approx. 40 - 45 mph - having merged from lane two as soon as I saw the 1st sign.
An Audi in lane 2 continued past all the warning sings, right to the point where he could procedd no further, where he found a row of cones abruptly shutting off his route, and traffic, nose to tail, but moving freely in lane one.
In order to allow the Audi in, somebody would have to brake or slow far enough back to allow him in - but HIS actions had taken them by urprise, and nobody was prepared to risk braking hard enough to open up sufficient gap - and the Audi by now was stationary.
As I passed him, and glanced back in my mirror he was still sat there for as far as I could see.

Later in the week when I travelled that way, I partially blocked somebody in lane 2 at the 200 yard marker, to prevent them suffering the same fate, and slowed to create a gap in front of me - which I then opened up to the driver behind, who just made it in before the cones.

The merging should be carried out as soon as is safely possible, rather than wait until the merge is FORCED IMHO.

I would not block lane 2 without good reason - an accident ahead might be such an occasion, or if there was a possibility of lane two being used by emergency vehicles, which might be blocked if vehicle waited too late to merge.

The last time we had this discussion, I used this illustration:
Image

Image

Unfortunately 10 days later an 18 year old driver was killed when he failed to merge at the pinch point ahead, and ended up on the wrong side of the line on the brow, and struck an oncoming vehicle.
If a slow vehicle loses momentum at the top, traffic quickly ends up backing up at 10-20 mph, with NO room to merge. So once more, I might be tempted to block an impatient driver BEFORE they got into difficulty on the brow, IF IT WERE SAFE to do so.

As to the length of the tube of ball bearings, it only needs to be long enough to ensure the free flow of balls through the hole. If a driver was attempting to travel so far ahead in lane 2 so as to impede that flow, then I would consider whether I could indicate that it would be wise to merge - possibly by allowing sufficient gap in front - but some just dont take the hint!

I hope I have explained myself clearly enough! :roll:

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2007 21:33 
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Ernest I can see you had the best of intentions but I can't help but feel (and I know I was not there) that the better option as you approached the 200 yard marker would have been to lift off the accelerator slightly at that point and so slow prior to this (rather than after) and so build up a more natural gap for the unwise overtaker sooner.

Do you think they may have attempted a further overtake had you not done what you did?

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2007 21:54 
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I'll quite happily block L2 on the basis that if I have to queue (and I'm happy to wait my turn) then no other git is getting past me! :lol:

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2007 21:57 
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Since I was travelling close to the car in front, the passing vehicle did not become apparent until we were close to the 200 marker.
All I did was move over enough to slow the driver and prevent him passing the space I was creating.
Since I had 200 yards, I was able to open up the space in good time. If he had passed on and not taken my opportunity, and ended up slowed in front of the cones, it would have been harder to merge.

I am sure most would agree zip merging does not work well if the merging car has a far greater or lesser speed, and the merge becomes hurried. :oops:

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