We're in the thick of the huge I-74 bridge project, mix that in with the normal yearly road construction and the Quad Cities becomes riddled with traffic delays.

Traffic jams on highways are often triggered where two lanes must merge into one. Supposedly there's an easy solution to most of these kind of traffic jams. TrafficWaves.org has this to say about the Zipper Merge:

Lanes of cars cannot merge if there are no large gaps between cars. Therefore, drivers who create large gaps between cars will ease this type of traffic jam.

To ease this type of jam:

  • Maintain a large space ahead of your car.
  • Never "punish" late-merging drivers by closing your gap. It's illegal, and for good reason.
  • Encourage one, two even three cars to merge ahead of you.
  • As you approach the final merge point, open your space wider and wider.
  • If traffic slows to a complete stop, KEEP TWO CAR-LENGTHS OF SPACE OPEN AHEAD OF YOU.
  • Fed Hwy Admin says: merge at the last minute. Early merging is the cause of jams.

Check out the animated models on Traffic Waves, they compare the Zipper Merge and the normal way of packing together.

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