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Drivers urged to merge like a zipper with London pilot project

The City of London has launched a public awareness campaign aimed at changing the way drivers merge.
The City of London has launched a public awareness campaign aimed at changing the way drivers merge. City of London, 2017

City hall is looking to get local drivers into the habit of zipper merging as a way to ease congestion, improve commute times, and improve safety.

READ MORE: SGI wants drivers to embrace ‘zipper merge’

“We know at merge points, it’s pretty common for drivers to queue up in one lane with the other lane remaining empty,” Transportation Planning and Design division manager Doug MacRae told AM980.

“Especially where there’s intersections and capacity constraints we really want to utilize the full capacity of the roads. We’re just trying to open up attitudes to encourage drivers to merge similar to how a zipper comes together whereby both lanes of traffic are utilized and drivers take turns and courteously merge closer to the merge point.”

According to the city, zipper merging can reduce delays and congestion by as much as 40 per cent. The pilot project will see distinct traffic control signs set up at strategic locations.

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“Some of them are at temporary construction traffic zones and some of them are at permanent merge locations that London drivers are very familiar with.”

READ MORE: Zipper merging your car at the last second may actually speed up travel: AMA

The signs will be up for a few weeks and the city will then get feedback on the project before considering future actions.

The campaign, launched last week, is part of the city’s Vision Zero London strategy, which aims to lower the number and severity of collisions and foster safer roadways.

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