Who are the bigger assholes, people who cut into backed up traffic, or the do-gooders who let them?

So there is alot of construction going on around my university right now and, to make a long story short, there is major construction going on on one of the few roads that leads onto campus. There is a bottleneck as everyone gets channeled into one lane and usually there is a line of cars waiting to pass through the bottleneck for many blocks. The right lane is the one that gets cut off, but of course it is open until JUST before the construction area, so every morning without fail I see people zip down the left lane for many blocks, past cars that may have been waiting patiently for 15 or 20 minutes, and, at the last possible second, jump into the right lane.

Now me, being the cynical and jaded bitch that I am, make it a point to keep no more than an inch between my front end and the bumper of the person in front of me, and thwart every attempt to part us. This is as it should be. This would show these people that skipping a line of people who had been waiting for 20 minutes then expecting to jump in at the last minute riding on the generosity of the people at the front of the line is a no-win strategy. But it never fails that every morning I see cars both ahead of me and behind me that let people merge in, not just from lack of paying attention, but actually STOP to let people in in front of them when they see their intention to merge.

These people live under the guise of compassionate drivers willing to do the right thing even if the other driver is being an asshole. That’s a nice, feel-good way to think about it. But in reality, I believe these people are worse than the ones that jump in at the last minute. The line cutters are mere opportunists, and I can’t hold that against them. The people who ALLOW this to happen are, in my opinion, the scum of the earth.


This is why people should use all lanes to the end in a situation like this and use a zipper merge, to prevent hurt feelings. Seriously. If everybody used both lanes and took turns at the merge point, this would not be an issue.

While I am a supporter of the above method and have argued about using the merge lane to the merge point on the highway, in a situation like this I would most likely just patiently stay in line. I think the asshole in the situation is the weird societal compunction not to use both lanes. I mean, really, why the fuck not?

Honesty I cannot see this as being anything but a clusterfuck.

You’ll get no argument from me regarding your opinion of the assholes who like to line jump in traffic and their dickless enablers. Fuck 'em. Fuck 'em in the ear. And then, just to be sure, fuck 'em in the other ear.

Does anyone else pull their car slightly into the open lane to block the shmucks trying to zip through to the front? And/or, more recklessly and creatively, open their door to block off even more of the lane?

Ahem. Not that I know anyone who would do something like that.

I’ve done the block-with-my-car thing a few times, and always when shitstains were getting into the breakdown lane to try to jump to the head of the line. I admit that I got the idea for this after watching semi drivers perform this action a time or two. As far as the door thing, no, I’ve not ever done that, but I certainly have been tempted to do so, especially when the situation involved asshole motorcyclists.

Left goes. Right goes. Left goes. Right goes.

Really, this is difficult? Drivers around the world are able to figure this out. This ain’t fucking rocket science.

Assholery like this is exactly why using both lanes to the end would be sane solution if we would just all agree to it. I agree that somebody jumping into a breakdown lane or riding the shoulder to jump a queue is being an asshole. I don’t agree that somebody using a legally open lane is being an asshole,.

If everyone does it properly, it’s at least as efficient as a long single line, with the advantage that traffic doesn’t back up as far because two lanes are being used. As long as everyone respects the left-right-left-right zipper merge, it works great.

Use both lanes until the point where one lane is blocked.

Each car in the non blocked lane lets in ONE car from the non-blocked lane.

Very simple. Very fair.

People can’t figure out not to slam on their brakes at the end of a merge lane into highway speed traffic, and you think they can figure out a zipper merge? :slight_smile:

And that’s where it breaks down.

The vast majority of the ridiculous traffic jams I see here in Jersey are caused by jerkoffs who feel the need to weld their car to the bumper of the car in front of them, going out of their way to prevent others from getting into the lane.

It seriously mystifies me. If your vehicle doesn’t sport flashing lights and state its purpose in mirror writing across the front, there is simply no destination that is so time sensitive that you can’t let one car in front of you.

And yet every time a lane merge happens, be it due to a lane closure for construction or just the design of the road, there’s a huge backup. This wouldn’t be nearly as problematic if everyone just let one car go in front of them.

The only time I get VERY pissed about people cutting in, is in the case of a backed up offramp at an exit. People will try to cut in right before the exit, and now not only is the exit lane backed up, but the one to the left of it as well. Then the one to the left of that backs up, it cascades, and suddenly the whole highway is at a standstill. ARGH

Yes, of course! Like I said, this isn’t rocket science. They do it now in an orderly fashion in other cases. For example, there’s an on-ramp right now here in Chicago that goes straight into a single lane of traffic because of construction. During rush hour, both lanes are backed up. The protocol? Every person in the left lane lets one person from the right lane through, i.e. left car, right car, left car, right car. Drivers already know how to do this. (ETA: Except, apparently, in New Jersey.) It’s just that in situations like the above, for some reason there is a weird compulsion to form a single file line blocks before the actual merge point.

Really, I trust drivers to be able to handle this bit of protocol. Like I said, they do so already, and I’m confident they could do so. It would really cut down on road rage and morons policing perfectly legal open lanes and endangering themselves and others needlessly.

Yes, I agree. You can chalk that one into the assholish category in addition to the ones I listed before.

It sounds like there is too much advanced warning of the lane closure. If it’s like “Left lane ends - 5 miles” then all the I-must-obey-the-sign types will move the right lane far sooner than necessary.

With regards to the OP, no, people letting other people in are not assholes.

Consider: traffic in the closed lane must merge eventually. Being the person who lets them into the lane does not automatically make one an asshole.
The real assholes are the cars who, when I leave a few car lengths for them to merge in front of me, stay in their lane hoping for another spot in farther down the row of cars.

If you are all stacked up in one lane instead of using them both, you are doing it wrong, so I get to go to the head of the line.

The zipper theory should work in theory, but when the theory is used in the real world, you get a second car in the left lane trying to follow the first car. Once the right lane driver has let two cars in, willingly or not, you get a third who gets pissed because he has to wait, then the right lane drivers bunch up to stop the left lane from merging and the zipper jams.

SSG § Schwartz

And, people, please… when you get past the obstruction, floor it! Get the fuck out the way as quickly as possible!

Related are people who nervously and hesitantly pull out of parking spaces or come into a freeway on on-ramps. They get into the lane and are still nervous and hesitant, causing traffic to slow behind them.

On this note, corkscrew-fuck people who stop to look around at the top of escalators.