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Misha
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Joined: Aug 02, 2006
Posts: 704
Location: McLean, VA, USA

PostPosted: Sun Aug 20, 2006 11:26 am Reply with quote Back to top

This is probably single most reliable natural traffic law in United States. I think its reliability is far more than 90%.This does not work in Russia, however ( at least did not, when I was driving there ), and I do not have enough driving experience to tell whether it works in other countries.

It is very simple, indeed – if there is a traffic jam on a multi-lane road because one of its lanes is ending or blocked ahead, this lane will be the fastest in the jam. Yes, you want to stay in this lane as far as you can, and this almost guarantees, you will move faster than other traffic.


I have very simple explanation for this - for some reason the majority of American drivers prefer to change lanes immediately after they see a notice that their lane is blocked or ending, thus significantly lighten up the traffic in this lane way before the actual blockage or end.


Last edited by Misha on Thu Aug 02, 2007 11:18 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Stimpy
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Joined: Sep 25, 2006
Posts: 107

PostPosted: Tue Sep 26, 2006 8:34 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Moving up in the blocked lane is good for you but causes a much larger traffic jam.

(driving a box truck, I couldn't merge into that lane and expect to be able to merge back anyways, so I sit and watch a lot)

the problem isn't your car moving back into the continuing lane, its the fact that the person behind you has to brake, and statistically will overbrake slightly. The person behind him will do the same, and so on down the line.

when a semi or an annoyed car moves out into that lane to block the people from cutting in at the front, the traffic jam immediately starts to lighten, and cars are moving much faster than what you would expect. (say 1 out of 3 lanes is blocked, traffic will speed up more than 1.5 times the original speed when the obstructed lane is cleared of cars from behind.)

Just my two cents, but just so you know, I'm that guy that pulls out to block you from speeding up to the front of the line Razz
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Misha
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Joined: Aug 02, 2006
Posts: 704
Location: McLean, VA, USA

PostPosted: Tue Sep 26, 2006 9:07 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Stimpy wrote:
the problem isn't your car moving back into the continuing lane, its the fact that the person behind you has to brake, and statistically will overbrake slightly.

Don't think we are talking about the same kind of jams Smile
In the jams I meant, the person behind would just delay his car go to let me in Very Happy
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Misha
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Joined: Aug 02, 2006
Posts: 704
Location: McLean, VA, USA

PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2006 1:04 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Stimpy wrote:
when a semi or an annoyed car moves out into that lane to block the people from cutting in at the front, the traffic jam immediately starts to lighten, and cars are moving much faster than what you would expect. (say 1 out of 3 lanes is blocked, traffic will speed up more than 1.5 times the original speed when the obstructed lane is cleared of cars from behind.)

Frankly, I can hardly visualize this. Did you mean, truck or car moves to this lane and just stops there? Just to block other people? Isn’t this insane? And I did not see this happening, probably I just did not understand you properly. Sometimes my English is kidding me Smile. Could you re-phrase, please, so I can understand?
Thanks.
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Stimpy
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Joined: Sep 25, 2006
Posts: 107

PostPosted: Sat Nov 18, 2006 5:17 pm Reply with quote Back to top

sure.. let me restate the entire scenerio.

So, you're on a two lane highway and you see signs saying "right lane closed ahead" and people start merging into the left lane leaving the right lane open. you can either merge into the left lane or speed down the right lane and merge at the last minute.

My belief is that people merging at the last minute make for a MUCH bigger and slower traffic jam because it concentrates the 'slow down' effect of merging to one specific area instead of spreading it out along the two miles previous. Because heavy traffic creates a wave pattern, each merge at that spot slows traffic a little bit more than the last merge, and since its at the front of the traffic jam, every car has to wait to go through that slow spot.

What I've seen done and actually did a few times is for a truck or semi to pull out of the line of cars that are waiting in the 'good' lane and into the lane that is closed ahead. After they pull out, they pace the car they were following in the 'good' lane, thereby blocking people from cutting to the front and adding to the jam.

You may disagree with this, and my theory on why it slows traffic down might be wrong, but the blocking tactic speeds up the traffic flow into the lane closure section of road more than you'd expect by just factoring in the extra cars..

~sorry if this is unintelligable. I really need a sharpie, a bar napkin, and 3 beers to explain complex systems (real OR imagined)
Very Happy
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Misha
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Joined: Aug 02, 2006
Posts: 704
Location: McLean, VA, USA

PostPosted: Mon Nov 20, 2006 7:27 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Well, after three beers I can say that what you are doing effectively moves the point of congestion behind you. It does speed up the traffic in front of you, no question, but it does not affect other traffic. Still, the same amount of vehicles has to merge, be it in front of you or behind you. So, essentially, this is yet another way to beat the traffic served with altruistic icing on the cake, as far as I understand….
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Stimpy
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Joined: Sep 25, 2006
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 20, 2006 8:05 pm Reply with quote Back to top

whether it's altruistic icing on a crap cake is another arguement all together Very Happy Since I got there before the people I'd be blocking, I'd call it even if I'm wrong, and helpfull if I'm right.

I still think I'm right though. Maybe later this week when I'm sick of turkey and my family I'll try to find traffic research to back me up. I think the same discovery channel program that explained the standing wave effect in traffic jams mentioned something about lane closures... but I saw that years ago.
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Misha
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Joined: Aug 02, 2006
Posts: 704
Location: McLean, VA, USA

PostPosted: Mon Nov 20, 2006 8:22 pm Reply with quote Back to top

I'd love to see this. The mechanics of this wave still puzzles me....
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ImperialBlue
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Joined: Apr 07, 2009
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Tue Apr 07, 2009 7:47 am Reply with quote Back to top

This is a zero sum game, that in the UK has evolved so that everyone 'defects' - or takes the action that assumes every one else is trying to screw them over - which isn't as good as the choice they would make if people weren't trying to screw each other.

Let me explain.

I see a sign that says the outside lane (which I am in) closes in 800 yards.

The best outcome for drivers in both lanes is if those in the inside lane allow gaps to form and the drivers in the outside lane flow into them. This way no-one has to stop, although the speed is reduced in order to allow the gaps to form.

This does tend to happen if there is lots of advance warning of the lane closure, but then something different happens in the last 200 yards or so - the drivers in the inside lane think 'well I've queued up, I'm not letting this guy just push in' so they bunch up, and stop people merging in. This causes the closed lane to stop, or slow significantly, so the neat merging in can't happen because there is too great a differential in the speeds of the two lanes.

Eventually someone in the inside lane will leave enough of a gap for someone from the outside lane to squeeze in, and the car in the inside lane will brake, and cause a ripple of braking on the inside, which will eventually bring that lane to a halt also.

Then people don't let others merge in either because it means they have to remain stationary for longer.

So, if you're in the moving lane, let people merge in. And if you are in the closing lane, merge in without waiting until the last moment - this way the traffic moves quicker for everyone.
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Misha
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Joined: Aug 02, 2006
Posts: 704
Location: McLean, VA, USA

PostPosted: Tue Apr 07, 2009 8:56 am Reply with quote Back to top

In ideal word this would be the best strategy hands down. The problem is it is never going to happen - inevitably someone would either try to merge on a different spot or to not let another car to merge. And as soon as this happens, trying to bypass the pack becomes a superior strategy Smile
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arun
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Joined: Dec 25, 2009
Posts: 100

PostPosted: Sat Dec 26, 2009 3:02 pm Reply with quote Back to top

First of all check which lane is of lighter traffic. then put proper light for ur turn and then shift to the lane of ur choice. But make sure u pass onto another lane without hindering others.
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Misha
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Joined: Aug 02, 2006
Posts: 704
Location: McLean, VA, USA

PostPosted: Sat Dec 26, 2009 8:03 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Hey Arun, did you bother to actually read the discussion?
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dfunzy
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Joined: Dec 30, 2009
Posts: 124

PostPosted: Sat Jan 23, 2010 7:44 pm Reply with quote Back to top

How to merge into traffic http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v-OmDGydsHc
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tony12
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Joined: Feb 03, 2010
Posts: 18

PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2010 10:36 am Reply with quote Back to top

Yeah you are right misha Psychology plays its part hear. People tend to move away from the lane which is jammed and never think. If every other do the same obviously that particular lane becomes free.
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Julianna
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Joined: Jan 23, 2010
Posts: 33

PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2010 11:36 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Misha wrote:
This is probably single most reliable natural traffic law in United States. I think its reliability is far more than 90%.This does not work in Russia, however ( at least did not, when I was driving there ), and I do not have enough driving experience to tell whether it works in other countries.

It is very simple, indeed – if there is a traffic jam on a multi-lane road because one of its lanes is ending or blocked ahead, this lane will be the fastest in the jam. Yes, you want to stay in this lane as far as you can, and this almost guarantees, you will move faster than other traffic.


I have very simple explanation for this - for some reason the majority of American drivers prefer to change lanes immediately after they see a notice that their lane is blocked or ending, thus significantly lighten up the traffic in this lane way before the actual blockage or end.


This certainly makes sense, I in the past always changed lanes and ended up going no where when I did it. You are correct if you stay in the lane the officers also normally direct the traffic so that they can get them out of the way. Very Valid point.Smile
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