I am Seattle Traffic
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Tuesday, May 8, 2007
I Am Pac-Man!
Recently there has been a spot of construction on my commute that forces the right lane to be closed. It happens to be at the top of a hill, so it's hard for people who (I'm assuming) don't drive this way every day to know it's there. I, on the other hand, know it's there and usually try and get over early. This eases my stress level because I don't have to fight, but it is annoying to see the other cars jockey for position as they merge over as late as possible.
So I tried "Pac-Manning" this morning to see what would happen. For those of you who are not aware, imagine your car is Pac-Man, and the white dots on the road are the yummy white dots you have to eat in the game.
I split the lanes (and ate up the dots) and kept my left blinker on. I did this with about 10 car-lengths in front of me before the merge light. Meanwhile I kept an eye on the rear-view mirror to watch the action.
Here's what happened: Almost immediately, cars behind me started realizing they had to merge, and put their left signals on. As more cars did this, I saw the line of blinking lights move further and further back (about 20-30 cars or so) and cars started getting over when they could. The lane behind me became clear, and more cars could see further. I watched as the cars behind me smoothly merged together and proceeded forward with a nice flow.
Usually cars fight their way into the merge, realizing after they've run out of runway that the reason for the hold-up is the closed lane. I hope to keep using this technique to make merges easier for everyone, and I encourage you to do the same.
Post a comment with your merging tips!