Reader has alternative lane closure, merge suggestion

Dear Street Smarts, I strongly disagree with the advice regarding what to do when seeing a "Lane Closed Ahead" sign (Monday, Aug. 22 Street Smarts). Often those signs are placed a mile or so ahead of the closure and in heavy traffic what happens? Some drivers, as your column recommended immediately squeeze into the 'open' lane causing lots of brake lights to flash on. Others roar farther down the about to close lane and squeeze into the 'open' lane. Too often, I have been in the 'open' lane at the first warning sign and soon find myself parked with cars in the 'closed' lane flowing past. If I am in the 'closed' lane I stay there, trying to pace the other drivers, not roaring past, and then merge at the closure. It makes a lot better sense to use both lanes right up to the closure and then do what seems to be a fading away skill called, merge! It is very simple: one of them, one of us, one of them, one of us. It really can work. This way, the first in line get to stay first in line and all of the pavement prior to the closure gets used appropriately -- and with a minimum of fist clenching and cuss words. I forgot the one, easy step for Caltrans, etc., to solve this lane closure mess. That is to change the signage to read, "Lane Closure Ahead" for the first signs and at the very last sign, name the closed lane. Simple solution to the problem, and the traffic will flow much, much smoother! Don Burklo, Soquel
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3 Responses to Reader has alternative lane closure, merge suggestion

  1. Don says:

    I took an “Over 50” driving class. The CHP officer teaching it naddressed this very problem. His advice is to take the lane that is nbeing diverted to the point of merging. That is the law. To do notherwise would back up traffic needlessly and may even cause gridlock. n It also seems to be common sense in order to flow traffic as much as npossible. The above answer is contradictory. The officer above states nthat it is more time efficient to go early into the through lane, nwhereas later he says that to wait until the merge point saves a few nminutes–which is it? Also, since when is merging cutting into traffic?n Merging, when done properly, IS a zipper-like action and takes a ncommon give and take that involves awareness and courtesy at the point nof merging. To cut in through lane early throws off this merging actionn and then you have stranded vehicles in the diverted lane waiting for nsomeone to let them in

  2. Don_honda says:

    I took an “Over 50” driving class.u00a0 The CHP officer teaching it addressedu00a0 this very problem.u00a0 His advice is to take the lane that is being diverted to the point of merging.u00a0 That is the law.u00a0 To do notherwise would back up traffic needlessly and may even cause gridlock.u00a0u00a0 It also seems to be common sense in order to flow traffic as much as possible.u00a0 The above answer is contradictory.u00a0 The officer in the previous column states that it is more time efficient to go early into the through lane, whereas later he says that to wait until the merge point saves a few minutes–which is it?u00a0 Also, since when is merging cutting into traffic?u00a0u00a0u00a0 Merging, when done properly, IS a zipper-like action and takes a common give and take that involves awareness and courtesy at the point of merging.u00a0 To cut in through lane early throws off this merging actionu00a0 and then you have stranded vehicles in the diverted lane waiting for someone to let them in.

  3. Don says:

    I didn’t mean that “the above answer is contradictory.”u00a0 I can’t edit my post.u00a0 I meant, “the previous answer (from the original posting) is contradictory.”u00a0 Thanks.n

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