If you don't know what I'm talking about, then you're the problem here.

Every Central New Yorker can agree... we are absolutely sick of the constant road construction. Once one road opens, another closes. And even worse, it creates a larger traffic pileup because of how it's constructed.

That's 100% the case when it comes to the arterial in Utica.

Google Maps
Google Maps

For the past few months, we've been reduced to one lane of traffic while they work on 12 North. We all understand why it's being done, but what we don't get is how people don't know how to merge correctly.

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Granted, it's right next to the "on ramp" that gave me the most anxiety as a first-time driver. But that doesn't exclude everyone else who chooses to ignore the one thing that'll ease this situation.


The Zipper Merge

It's really a simple concept. You take turns letting each other into the left lane, letting traffic flow more smoothly and avoiding pileups. There's actually a proposed bill in the New York State Senate regarding it.

Requires that a driver in possession of a lane must yield the right of way to all vehicles which properly signal their intent to merge into their lane or are attempting to avoid an obstacle in the road.

But as we know... that's not what's happening.


We instead will have a LONG line of cars in the left lane, moving at a decent speed, but not allowing anyone from the right lanes to safely merge. Those who weren't already in the conga line of cars are now forced to anxiously wait and speed into the lane once they've found some sort of opening.

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Aside from anxiety, it's caused numerous accidents and even further delays to commuters. All would be solved if we just used the zipper merge! Or... if the construction wasn't happening at all.

Windshield view of an angry driver man. Negative human emotions face expression

The Outliers

Of course, we will always have those annoying people who disregard everything but themselves. That person who will speed up and merge at the last possible moment. If they went any farther they'd be taking out the cones, but they deserve the car damage for not thinking about anybody else.

Let's help everybody here! Use the zipper merge instead of flying in the left lane with no care in the world. I think you'll see a lot more happier people in this world by doing so.

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