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Author Topic: Lane Merges: the Good, the Bad, the Ugly, and the WTF Is That?!  (Read 2551 times)

MCRoads

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So, I was perusing google maps near Mobile, AL, and saw this. Google street view isnt updated, but does it really need to be to show how ugly this looks?

Then, I remember seeing this amazingly complicated monstrosity on the 6th ave freeway.you know your merges are bad when you need a sign like this!
 
But, I think the worst merge I have ever seen has to be the (thankfully now former) I-64 triple lane merge just north of Hampton Roads, VA. That, my friends, was a traffic nightmare. 2 lanes end on the left within 3/4 mile, AND the on-ramp from Jefferson Ave merged within that same space? That definitely belonged in the WTF Is That?! category.
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Tom958

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Re: Lane Merges: the Good, the Bad, the Ugly, and the WTF Is That?!
« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2021, 05:48:52 AM »

This one in Philadelphia, where the I-76 mainline and two onramps each converge from two lanes to one in less than 400 feet.
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stridentweasel

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Re: Lane Merges: the Good, the Bad, the Ugly, and the WTF Is That?!
« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2021, 06:05:42 AM »

So, I was perusing google maps near Mobile, AL, and saw this. Google street view isnt updated, but does it really need to be to show how ugly this looks?

This actually makes a lot of sense, because it allows traffic to either yield and then safely make the quickly upcoming left turn, or use the other lane and bypass the merge without having to yield.
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Occidental Tourist

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Re: Lane Merges: the Good, the Bad, the Ugly, and the WTF Is That?!
« Reply #3 on: May 11, 2021, 01:09:00 AM »



This basically blind yield onto the 57 Freeway n/b from Lambert Road.  They are reconstructing the interchange and with the construction barriers theres basically no room for a merge, so they put a yield sign at the end of the ramp.  Im not sure if youre actually supposed to attempt to stop, but if you did stop, youre asking for a rear end collision or to get clipped by traffic in the right-hand lane when you accelerate from a dead stop.
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SkyPesos

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Re: Lane Merges: the Good, the Bad, the Ugly, and the WTF Is That?!
« Reply #4 on: May 11, 2021, 01:19:35 AM »

3 ramps merging onto I-270 NB at the I-670 interchange. This was a recent change to filter traffic taking the next exit.
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Scott5114

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Re: Lane Merges: the Good, the Bad, the Ugly, and the WTF Is That?!
« Reply #5 on: May 11, 2021, 02:03:22 AM »



This basically blind yield onto the 57 Freeway n/b from Lambert Road.  They are reconstructing the interchange and with the construction barriers theres basically no room for a merge, so they put a yield sign at the end of the ramp.  Im not sure if youre actually supposed to attempt to stop, but if you did stop, youre asking for a rear end collision or to get clipped by traffic in the right-hand lane when you accelerate from a dead stop.

I got into two rear-end accidents in 2014 when ODOT had a near-identical setup on I-35 in Norman (both caused by the driver ahead of me making a false start, then coming to a dead stop ahead of me as I was turning to see if I was clear to use the same gap in traffic). After the second one I started detouring to an interchange two miles upstream of the interchange under construction just so I wouldn't have to deal with it anymore.
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sprjus4

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Re: Lane Merges: the Good, the Bad, the Ugly, and the WTF Is That?!
« Reply #6 on: May 11, 2021, 02:48:53 AM »

But, I think the worst merge I have ever seen has to be the (thankfully now former) I-64 triple lane merge just north of Hampton Roads, VA. That, my friends, was a traffic nightmare. 2 lanes end on the left within 3/4 mile, AND the on-ramp from Jefferson Ave merged within that same space? That definitely belonged in the WTF Is That?! category.
That area was a nightmare going down from 8 lanes to 4. Thankfully the 6 lane widening north of that location completed back in 2017 has made an issues in that area practically non-existent, even during peak hours. Now, that 4th lane drop turns into who can get up to 90 mph and ride it until the very end to take the last passing opportunity of the other 3 lanes.

It was also nice that they increased the speed limit south of that location to 65 mph from Jefferson Ave down to just north of Mercury Blvd. The previous 60 mph limit had no compliance, and the usual 75-80 mph flow hasnt really changed as a result of the increase. It made no sense coming from the old 2 lane (heading southbound) configuration, then opening up to 4 lanes, wide open highway, and the speed limit lowering to 60 mph.

VDOT also responded to one of my tweets and said they plan to conduct a speed study on the newly widened I-64 north of Jefferson once Phase 3 widening is complete, so there might be future 70 mph zone finally. In all reality, it could easily handle it. Id say even south of there, but given the urban environment, its a blessing just to see even 65 mph.
« Last Edit: May 11, 2021, 02:51:05 AM by sprjus4 »
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GenExpwy

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Re: Lane Merges: the Good, the Bad, the Ugly, and the WTF Is That?!
« Reply #7 on: May 11, 2021, 05:30:23 AM »

I am not a fan of the westbound entrance to I-86 at Painted Post NY.
All of this is the main entrance to I-86 from most of Corning, Riverside, Painted Post, and Gang Mills.
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Rothman

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Re: Lane Merges: the Good, the Bad, the Ugly, and the WTF Is That?!
« Reply #8 on: May 11, 2021, 07:14:56 AM »



This basically blind yield onto the 57 Freeway n/b from Lambert Road.  They are reconstructing the interchange and with the construction barriers theres basically no room for a merge, so they put a yield sign at the end of the ramp.  Im not sure if youre actually supposed to attempt to stop, but if you did stop, youre asking for a rear end collision or to get clipped by traffic in the right-hand lane when you accelerate from a dead stop.

I got into two rear-end accidents in 2014 when ODOT had a near-identical setup on I-35 in Norman (both caused by the driver ahead of me making a false start, then coming to a dead stop ahead of me as I was turning to see if I was clear to use the same gap in traffic). After the second one I started detouring to an interchange two miles upstream of the interchange under construction just so I wouldn't have to deal with it anymore.

Huh.  My Driver's Ed class thirty years ago specifically hammered on that situation to prevent rear-end accidents (i.e., watch the car in front of you before accelerating).
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andrepoiy

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Re: Lane Merges: the Good, the Bad, the Ugly, and the WTF Is That?!
« Reply #9 on: May 11, 2021, 02:15:36 PM »

Unfamiliar driver:

"Oh nice, 3 lanes that exit"


Then,
"Ah shit, why is this lane ending!!!"
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Scott5114

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Re: Lane Merges: the Good, the Bad, the Ugly, and the WTF Is That?!
« Reply #10 on: May 11, 2021, 03:58:11 PM »

Huh.  My Driver's Ed class thirty years ago specifically hammered on that situation to prevent rear-end accidents (i.e., watch the car in front of you before accelerating).

I guess by the time I took Driver's Ed they were of the opinion that there were enough acceleration lanes that we didn't need that information. Instead, most of the class was given over to watching videos from the 1970s showing gruesome injuries of car crash victims (which I very pointedly and intentionally did not watch).

But then again my Driver's Ed was taught by off-season football coaches, so it's a wonder I can operate a car at all.
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mrsman

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Re: Lane Merges: the Good, the Bad, the Ugly, and the WTF Is That?!
« Reply #11 on: May 11, 2021, 11:06:45 PM »

Unfamiliar driver:

"Oh nice, 3 lanes that exit"


Then,
"Ah shit, why is this lane ending!!!"


Is there any point to this at all?  I would think that they would just make the right two lanes exit and be done with it. 

There is a similar exit near me, exit to I-95 north from Beltway WB (95/495) in College Park, MD where the three lanes become two lanes, but at least they provide three lanes for the duration of the transition ramp, as a way to even out traffic.  (The three lanes become two lanes only once the lanes merge in with traffic coming from the other direction of the Beltway.)  The above situation in Toronto makes no sense at all, so it's a perfect fit for the thread.
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Great Lakes Roads

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Re: Lane Merges: the Good, the Bad, the Ugly, and the WTF Is That?!
« Reply #12 on: May 12, 2021, 12:35:36 AM »

https://www.google.com/maps/@43.0437101,-88.0342969,3a,75y,325.7h,90t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sLcOmzaSkQ-WPXOtLINJbeQ!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

This is on the 41 NB at Watertown Plank Road just north of the Zoo Interchange... 5 lanes down to 3 at the same spot with both left and right lanes merging! Luckily, this will be a thing in the past as they are widening 41 north of this interchange to 4 lanes up to either North Ave or Burleigh Street...
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roadman65

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Re: Lane Merges: the Good, the Bad, the Ugly, and the WTF Is That?!
« Reply #13 on: May 12, 2021, 08:50:42 AM »

The Selmon exit in South Tampa for EB US 92.  The interchange was just redone along with the new Selmon Extension and still has the weave to get in the sudden left turn lane that US 92 EB takes after the ramp merge onto US 92.
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andrepoiy

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Re: Lane Merges: the Good, the Bad, the Ugly, and the WTF Is That?!
« Reply #14 on: May 12, 2021, 09:04:56 AM »

Unfamiliar driver:

"Oh nice, 3 lanes that exit"
[image removed]

Then,
"Ah shit, why is this lane ending!!!"
[image removed]

Is there any point to this at all?  I would think that they would just make the right two lanes exit and be done with it. 

There is a similar exit near me, exit to I-95 north from Beltway WB (95/495) in College Park, MD where the three lanes become two lanes, but at least they provide three lanes for the duration of the transition ramp, as a way to even out traffic.  (The three lanes become two lanes only once the lanes merge in with traffic coming from the other direction of the Beltway.)  The above situation in Toronto makes no sense at all, so it's a perfect fit for the thread.

Up until 2009, this was actually a 3 lane exit.

The thing is, once this ramp meets the mainline, the mainline becomes 5 lanes, so one lane had to end. And back then, it was the lane on the mainline that ended. I guess the traffic patterns changed as time went on and there were more cars coming from the mainline, and therefore they decided to remove one lane from this ramp.

As for making it a 2-lane exit without a "choice lane" (lane where you could continue or exit), Ontario very rarely does exits with 2 exit-only lanes, I'm guessing it's because if a driver was mistakenly in the wrong lane, they would have one last chance to stay on the freeway instead of exiting.
« Last Edit: May 12, 2021, 09:09:37 AM by andrepoiy »
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webny99

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Re: Lane Merges: the Good, the Bad, the Ugly, and the WTF Is That?!
« Reply #15 on: May 12, 2021, 10:11:49 AM »

As for making it a 2-lane exit without a "choice lane" (lane where you could continue or exit), Ontario very rarely does exits with 2 exit-only lanes, I'm guessing it's because if a driver was mistakenly in the wrong lane, they would have one last chance to stay on the freeway instead of exiting.

I believe "option lane" is the official term... and yes, Ontario loves them! There are tons of exits that would be a single-lane exit anywhere else and they provide an option lane.
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riiga

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Re: Lane Merges: the Good, the Bad, the Ugly, and the WTF Is That?!
« Reply #16 on: May 13, 2021, 06:26:53 PM »

Not sure how common this is, but I can't think of anywhere else I've seen this (GSV link) where one lane has to yield but not the other:


Sharp turn and left lane yield up ahead.


Left lane recommended speed is 50 km/h (30 mph).


Actual merge. Signs says "Applies to left lane only". Also note the rumble strips (and shark teeth in the distance).
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andrepoiy

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Re: Lane Merges: the Good, the Bad, the Ugly, and the WTF Is That?!
« Reply #17 on: May 14, 2021, 06:24:25 PM »

The above reminds me of a centre-lane merge thread that appeared some time ago
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jay8g

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Re: Lane Merges: the Good, the Bad, the Ugly, and the WTF Is That?!
« Reply #18 on: May 16, 2021, 02:57:53 AM »

This may be slightly off topic, but I'm always amused by the lane that appears out of the gorepoint on the stub of SR 7 (and then promptly disappears after the I-5 ramps).

Going the other way, you have two lanes end at almost the same time with minimal signage, though I doubt there's ever enough traffic for that to be a big issue.
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andrepoiy

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Re: Lane Merges: the Good, the Bad, the Ugly, and the WTF Is That?!
« Reply #19 on: May 17, 2021, 09:38:46 AM »

Here's one, from the Weston Road ramp onto Highway 401:

This ramp has a very short acceleration lane, and not only that, the lane that cars have to merge into exits 300 metres away (and it's a major freeway exit, Highway 400). That means cars getting on the freeway here have to make 2 lane changes in quick succession, while cars trying to exit onto the 400 have to deal with cars trying to merge into their lane. It causes quite a bit of backup every day due to the weaving.


« Last Edit: May 17, 2021, 09:42:24 AM by andrepoiy »
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MCRoads

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Re: Lane Merges: the Good, the Bad, the Ugly, and the WTF Is That?!
« Reply #20 on: May 17, 2021, 09:51:32 PM »

Here's one, from the Weston Road ramp onto Highway 401:

This ramp has a very short acceleration lane, and not only that, the lane that cars have to merge into exits 300 metres away (and it's a major freeway exit, Highway 400). That means cars getting on the freeway here have to make 2 lane changes in quick succession, while cars trying to exit onto the 400 have to deal with cars trying to merge into their lane. It causes quite a bit of backup every day due to the weaving.




Time for a C/D road for the C/D road? Lol
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I build roads on Minecraft. Like, really good roads.
Interstates traveled:
 4/5/10*/11**/12**/15/25*/29*/35(E/W[TX])/40*/44**/49(LA**)/55*/64**/65/66*/70/71*76(PA*,CO*)/78*/80*/95/99(PA**,NY**)

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Indicates a gap (I.E Breezwood, PA.)

more room plz

andrepoiy

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Re: Lane Merges: the Good, the Bad, the Ugly, and the WTF Is That?!
« Reply #21 on: May 17, 2021, 11:20:24 PM »

Here's one, from the Weston Road ramp onto Highway 401:

This ramp has a very short acceleration lane, and not only that, the lane that cars have to merge into exits 300 metres away (and it's a major freeway exit, Highway 400). That means cars getting on the freeway here have to make 2 lane changes in quick succession, while cars trying to exit onto the 400 have to deal with cars trying to merge into their lane. It causes quite a bit of backup every day due to the weaving.

[images removed]

Time for a C/D road for the C/D road? Lol

I think the solution here would be to change the configuration of the interchange to the following:


In addition, they should then make the freeway exit 2 lanes, one lane being a choice lane. It shouldn't be hard to do, and just a simple one-lane widening, because further down the line, the ramp actually does widen to 2 lanes. This way, cars from Weston just need to make one merge.



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webny99

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Re: Lane Merges: the Good, the Bad, the Ugly, and the WTF Is That?!
« Reply #22 on: May 18, 2021, 07:49:11 AM »

Time for a C/D road for the C/D road? Lol

I think the solution here would be to change the configuration of the interchange to the following:

...

What you suggest is basically identical to what was done at this interchange (as just one part of a much larger project also involving the I-490 interchange). Each direction of NY 31 used to have its own ramp to NY 390 NB (a mirror of the current SB setup), but the WB to NB movement is now a left turn at the new intersection with Lee Rd.
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andrepoiy

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Re: Lane Merges: the Good, the Bad, the Ugly, and the WTF Is That?!
« Reply #23 on: May 18, 2021, 08:49:47 AM »

Time for a C/D road for the C/D road? Lol

I think the solution here would be to change the configuration of the interchange to the following:

...

What you suggest is basically identical to what was done at this interchange (as just one part of a much larger project also involving the I-490 interchange). Each direction of NY 31 used to have its own ramp to NY 390 NB (a mirror of the current SB setup), but the WB to NB movement is now a left turn at the new intersection with Lee Rd.

Yes, exactly
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fwydriver405

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Re: Lane Merges: the Good, the Bad, the Ugly, and the WTF Is That?!
« Reply #24 on: May 19, 2021, 12:00:54 AM »

Unfamiliar driver:

"Oh nice, 3 lanes that exit"


Then,
"Ah shit, why is this lane ending!!!"


Is there any point to this at all?  I would think that they would just make the right two lanes exit and be done with it.

At the Interstate 93 and I-293/Everett Turnpike split in Hooksett NH, for drivers continuing straight to I-293/Everett Turnpike SB, I never really understood why a third lane appears here, only for it to end 580 m (634 yd) after I-93 leaves the Everett Turnpike.

Why not just leave the I-293 approach at two lanes, especially since I-293 / Everett Turnpike has only two thru lanes for ~14.8 km (~9.2 mi) south of this interchange? It appears this configuration was like this for some time now, since Google Earth suggests that this has been in place since 1998.

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