Hastings & Hastings Speaks on the Arizona Department of Transportation's Pilot "Zipper Merge" Program
Hastings & Hastings acknowledges one of the most frustrating things about driving is traffic. Traffic is a voracious devourer of time. It is the cause of thousands and thousands of accidents annually, resulting in injuries, death, and property damage. Traffic is the subject of constant study and analysis as civil engineers, city planners, and transportation officials attempt to create solutions to alleviate traffic or end it for good.
Phoenix, AZ, March 11, 2016 (Newswire.com) - In an attempt to alleviate traffic by facilitating highway merging, the Arizona Department of Transportation has debuted its pilot zipper merge project on the I-10 east of Tucson between state routes 83 and 9. The new merge system has been designed to minimize the traffic congestion that is typically associated with highway merges.
A zipper merge asked drivers to delay the merging maneuver longer than they typically would. It asks drivers to take turns, as one lane leaves upon space for drivers in the other lane to move into. In principle, drivers in each lane can maintain their current speed without having to slow dramatically down.
The new merge system required drivers in each lane to cooperate. It is currently being tested in a construction zone.
“So far what we’ve seen, it’s been great. The queues have reduced. We’ve gotten fewer complaints,” says ADOT Assistant Director Brent Cain, head of the Transportation Systems Management and Operations Division. “Really what we’d like for the public to take away from this is we’re providing a means to really create a safe environment, a fair environment for those folks to get safely through our construction zone.”
To date, the Minnesota Department of Transportation and the Missouri Department of Transportation have each introduced the zipper merge system to their states. If the pilot program works well, it is likely that the zipper merge system will show up in other traffic lanes throughout the state.
“We all know that traffic can be frustrating, and I think we would all like to see traffic jams disappear from our lives. However, safety is the most important thing. We need to keep that in mind as we explore traffic solutions,” said David Hastings, the founder of Hastings & Hastings.