Sunday, July 20, 2008

Another Rant: How to Merge

Here is another driving-related rant from my old web site, posted in a slightly edited form.

First posted: August 4th, 2005.

Why do so few Saskatoon drivers understand what a friggin' "free flow lane" or "lane added" sign like thisor a merge sign like thismeans. Whenever I drive somewhere and am using an exit lane to the right that joins another road as an added lane, I end up behind some idiot who STOPS in the middle of the bloody road thinking they've got to merge with and yield to the traffic when what they should be doing is getting up to speed and then moving left into the adjacent lanes if they so wish. Many folks are just as confused regarding how to merge. Again, they STOP and wait for an huge opening in the traffic before they enter the lane and continue on their merry way oblivious of the frustration and danger they cause. If any car should appear on the horizon in any lane, they must wait for all traffic to pass before they too can enter the roadway. Often it seems that the problem is due to the person wanting to go directly over to the left lane. Here's an idea: get up to speed and do a couple of lane changes in quick succession after properly shoulder checking. Occasionally they're just going to have to resign themselves to NOT doing a left turn 100 feet after the botched merge, and just taking the next road. Rarely would this add more than a minute to the drive, it would be safer and quicker for everyone, and I'm less likely to blow my top when I'm stuck in peak traffic behind this goof and we'd all get home sooner.

I think I'm just going to go for a bike ride and avoid these idiots altogether.

You can find the
Saskatchewan Driver's Handbook here, including a section on signage here. It is disappointing that SGI does not include a section on the type of merging and driving discussed above in the guide, though they do discuss highway merging which is relevant. You can read the "Drive Right with Tim Felzak" column or watch the video clip