Winnipeg drivers zip through new merge routine

WINNIPEG — Some Winnipeg motorists seem to be embracing the zipper merge.

It was introduced Wednesday morning for the first time in the northbound lanes of Lagimodiere Boulevard between Fermor Avenue and Dugald Road where it’s down to one lane due to construction.

Drivers on Lagimodiere Wednesday morning seemed to get the message, with most taking turns to merge and only a few instances of drivers not letting the next car go in front.

“Winnipeggers seem to be getting on board, they seem to be getting it,” said St. Boniface Councillor Matt Allard.

READ MORE: Winnipeg pushes zipper merge for pilot project

The zipper merge has been used widely in the US.  It’s used in construction zones where traffic loses a lane.  The zipper merge asks motorists to use all lanes available right up to the barricade, and then take turns letting cars merge, instead of everyone lining up in one lane and motorists getting frustrated when someone cuts in front.

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“It really is up to Winnipeggers to see if they want to change this driving culture of lining up in one line instead of using all available lanes,” said Allard.

If it works on Lagimodiere it could be introduced in all construction zones.

Allard got the idea after a resident tweeted it to him, he asked the Public Works Department to do a pilot project.

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