Tag Archives: merge

On-Ramp Speeds

Sixty miles an hour? It's too damn slow!

Sixty miles an hour? It’s too damn slow!

I don’t understand why people don’t get the concept of getting up to highway speeds by the end of the on-ramp. The inability of people matching traffic speeds is one of the causes traffic jams. By matching the speeds merging would be smoother and easier. Modern cars are fast enough to do that job fairly well so it’s obviously a driver issue. Fifty-five MPH is not a reasonable speed at the end of the off-ramp and if you pull into traffic that is moving at least 65 MPH, you’re now a rolling roadblock. Congrats on being a complete jerk to society. The other day some douche nozzle in a Toyota pick-up had the balls to hawk a loogie at me while I came up behind him AT THE SPEED LIMIT! Some people need to be the next Darwin Award recipient.

15th Street and Lamar Blvd

15th Street over Lamar Blvd

Imagine eleventy billion cars here.

The on-ramp to eastbound 15th street from Lamar Blvd in Austin is a serious fustercluck in the morning. It may not look like it in the image above, but the behavior of people in traffic is terrible! It has gotten worse in the last few months from the mass exodus of other states to Austin. Enfield/15th Street is one of the major east/west streets through downtown and most downtown workers take this route to and from work. At the top of the hill in the picture is a traffic light. The right hand lane where the on-ramp is located become a thru lane all the way to I-35. People will routinely come to a dead stop where the on-ramp becomes a thru lane. They stop in both adjacent lanes to do a lane change. Seriously, people! It’s a ticketable offense to stop in a thru lane! This goes back to my rant about people stopping in yield lanes. Shape up and time it right. If you can’t, then don’t inconvenience everyone else by doing stupid stuff like this! Drive up the road and do a U-turn or something if you miss your chance to make a lane change to make a turn. Seriously, you have options.

Y’all are morons!



I don’t understand how y’all can’t manage to maintain speed while looking at something. So something happens on the opposite side of the highway, don’t fkn slow down because it doesn’t fkn affect you! On my way home traffic was stopped on one section of highway. The highway is divided with a median that was as wide as the travel lanes. On the opposite lanes there was the aftermath of a collision. And by aftermath, I mean the mess was cleaned up and emergency services were doing paperwork. I just can’t see how paperwork can be so fkn exciting to stare at because everyone slowed down to watch. As soon as we all pass the scene, traffic picks up and is free-flowing. Jebus, people, set the fkn cruise control if you can’t maintain your speed to rubberneck. Way to inconvenience EVERYONE!

And lane-jumpers, just stop. Everyone who has watched “Office Space” knows as soon as you change lanes, the lane you were in picks up and the lane you just jumped into will stop. Not only are you an asshole, but it just adds to the lane not moving because we all have to let your ass in! And then you jump to another lane thinking that lane will be faster. Just stick to one lane because from my experience we will all arrive at a destination within 5 minutes of each other regardless of lane-jumping or not. Y’all are morons.

Turn Signal Timing

There are people out there that use their turn signals. Unfortunately, some people don’t understand the timing of using it. If you’re going to use your turn signal, don’t leave on longer than you have to. I see people driving in the merge lane with their turn signal on for way too long. If you are going to merge, don’t turn on your turn signal until you’re ready to make your move! It creates anxiety when you have your turn signal on. It’s like how Schrodinger’s cat can be alive and dead due to the uncertainty. You’re signaling that you are merging, but you aren’t merging at all. I don’t know when you’re going to make your move, however, I have a feeling it’ll take days to complete the moveĀ  so I should, in theory, I can react fast enough.

Lifted Truck and the Merging Lane

On my way to the theater I saw a stereotypical douchebag move. I was on the tollway interchange and the two lanes become one on the flyover. Up from behind comes a lifted Silverado on chrome wheels. It was obviously a poser as these were street wheels and tires, not for off-roading. I was about five car lengths behind the car in front of me and I was already past the part of the road where the dash white lines stop indicating the lanes merge. Well, Mr. Silverado driver decides he didn’t want to slow down and be stuck behind me. Not only does he speed up and drives over the painted median to get ahead of me, but he flies past the car in front of me as well cutting him off! He was already well past the point where the two lanes becomes one! Farther down the road he pulls the same stunt when he mistakenly got into the right lane thinking it was an exit lane, but merges back to the highway. Obviously this guy is compensating for something.

Multi-step merge-and-turn

Merge, stop, and turn

This morning I was behind a Jeep Grand Cherokee, a typical mommy-mobile in suburbia. I was driving in the middle lane and I see her merge into my lane from the right. She drives straight for a little bit while slowing down. The light ahead was green so the move puzzled me. Then she proceeded to get into the left-most lane (which becomes a left turn lane and also has a green light). Now, why would anyone do a move like that? Wouldn’t it be more efficient to merge left twice (or once through two lanes if you’re ballsy), then slow down (optional) instead of merge left, slow down, and merge left again? Seriously, I have to question why merging is such a task for drivers here!

Suicide lanes

Center left turn lane

From the Texas driver's handbook: left turn only!

The center turn lane is used to make left turns only. It has earned the nickname the “suicide lane” because traffic can enter from either direction into one lane and become a game of chicken if the move was ill-timed. To make matters worse people love to use it as a merge lane. I used to use it as a merge lane as well and even saw police officers make the same move. Then one day I was told it was not a legal move and I stopped doing it. It wasn’t a big deal as it wasn’t a very common occurrence.

Then I moved to Texas and everyone uses the center turn lane as merge lane. I was told it was a legal move here so I didn’t question it. Now it’s time to change over my driver’s license and I skimmed the driver’s handbook and lo-and-behold the graphic above: the center turn lane should only be used as a left turn lane only.

Now I’m not against getting into the lane and stopping before merging, but it seems like people get into the center turn lane from a side street and keep moving. If you are stopped, I can plan my move to make a left turn. If you’re moving, I have a shorter distance to stop before making a left turn, especially if you’re speeding up to the same speed as traffic! Now if I’m approaching from the opposite lane, you may get into my path if I’m making a left turn in front of you. Let’s play a game of chicken, shall we?

I have actually seen the aftermath of a head-on collision in a suicide lane. An F-150 vs. a Contour. It wasn’t pretty, but I think the people survived. It blocked off both left lanes of traffic so everyone had to bottleneck into the right lanes. You’d think someone would stop before barreling head-on into each other! This is why it’s important to pay attention while driving!

Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should

Why are you making a left?!

Why are you making a left?!

So whenever I go to FedEx I always encounter this. I am in the left lane heading north at 40 MPH when I come to this idiotic traffic light that meters traffic into a pair of churches across the street from each other. It doesn’t matter what time of day it is, there is always someone trying to make a left into either church. WHY?! Just because you can make a left doesn’t mean you should! Plan your route better so you can make a right turn! The traffic light doesn’t help either as the turns get activated and then turns into a yield-on-green where traffic just stops in the left lane while everyone and their moms are rushing by in the right lane.

The engineers could have timed this traffic light similar to another one down the same street where it allows one side of traffic to make lefts and straights while the opposite side has a red and then swaps for the opposite lane after a certain amount of time. This keeps traffic flowing safely. Obviously, this would be too good of a solution and we can’t have that in the government!

So cars build up in the left lane and the last person into the queue can escape by merging right when the right lane traffic clears. That is the winning move. Come up, see traffic stopped, and just jerk the wheel right, stomp on the gas, and hope there’s no cars in your way. Gotta do this swiftly and gracefully like a swan in heat. If you are unfortunate to get stuck in the left lane while everyone passes on the right, then let the flying spaghetti monster have mercy on your soul.

Why do merge lanes confuse people?

Merge lane

Idiots can't merge

So we’ve all encountered merge lanes like the one in the image. This particular road, however, has metal poles to force you to merge. There are clearly marked signs saying the right lane ends and to merge left. I’m normally traveling in the middle through lane and I see some jerk in the right lane not merging even though they have plenty of space. They decide to ride out the right lane as if they were challenging the poles to move and give up when they see that the poles are NOT MOVING! No tap of the brakes or anything, just a swift move to the left (without signaling) without batting an eye. I always leave a gap while I’m in the middle lane just because of idiots like this. I’ve seen people get forced out of the middle lane when the right-lane idiots move over. They had plenty of time and space to make their move. I understand not merging because you’re scared to do so, but why ride out the lane and challenge another solid object? It’s not like there wasn’t enough room or time to do so. I guess texting your BFF Jill and chugging a venti carmel macchiato soy latte and calming the snot twins in the backseat is much more important than the menial task of driving. One of these days when I have a pre-owned Crown Vic Police Interceptor you will feel my wrath people!