Zipper Merge Coming to a Winnipeg Construction Area Near You!!
The zipper was invented in Canada in 1913. So why are Winnipeggers having such a hard time with the newly-implemented "Zipper Merge" rules in construction areas?!
If you have driven anywhere in Winnipeg this last construction season, you might have seen the "Zipper Merge Ahead" sign, the "Merge Here" sign and the "Take Turns Merging" signs.
These bright orange signs are position towards a lane closure in a construction area alongside the well-known "TC-5" sign, that shows a lane closure pictogram.
The zipper merge is used when a lane ends in a construction area and traffic is minimized to one single traffic lane.
The action is simple: Drivers on the ending lane need to drive up all the way to the lane closure, and drivers on the open lane need to allow cars to merge one by one, taking turns.
Adjusting this one behavior when approaching lane closures, makes moving through construction areas more effective, efficient and safer for all drivers, by reducing the length of the construction zone traffic and reducing the speed in which drivers approach the lane closure.
As both lanes slow down and work together to help traffic improve, the risk of traffic accidents in construction areas reduces significantly.
Queuing up in one line as soon as one sees the lane end is inefficient, creates an unecessary traffic jam and slow down in traffic. Continuing this method of driving through construction areas is incorrect and needs to be changed for the better of Winnipeggers and Winnipeg traffic.
Think about it this way : What is faster and more efficient? Buttoning up your winter jacket one button at a time, or using a zipper to just simply "zip!" that jacket up and be out the door?!
The zipper merge should be used regardless of if the signs for zipper merge are present or not.
So the next time you see a zipper merge think "Canadians invented the zipper, we can re-invent the merge".