A colleague recently expressed frustration with drivers who use the far right, third lane at 16th Street and 4th Avenue to get to the front where they then merge into the through traffic lane.
I get frustrated for different reasons. The third lane was built to ease traffic at the intersection, yet these third lanes go mostly unused. I suspect it’s because motorists don’t want to be seen as jumping to the front of the line.
Sometimes I have to sit through several lights because traffic is so backed up in the other lanes. But I don’t use the third lane either because I’m afraid others will see it as rude and I don’t want to trigger road rage.
But these lanes aren’t for “right turn only.” They are perfect for zipper merges and traffic engineers have been encouraging drivers to use them.
Using all available lanes moves traffic more efficiently and mean shorter backups — as long as drivers cooperate at the merge point.