June 10, 2019 3:57 pm
Updated: June 10, 2019 4:53 pm

Resident calls for ‘zipper merge’ for troubling road off Riverview-area bridge

WATCH: A woman from Riverview suggests a zipper merge might solve a problem in the Riverview area. Shelley Steeve has more.

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A merge lane coming off of the Gunningsville Bridge leading to Riverview, N.B., is causing frustration for some drivers.

Riverview resident Cathy Jensen says she’s had several close calls merging onto the Hillsborough Road off of the bridge, as drivers try to jockey for a position in the right lane that continues straight.

“People are flipping you off, they are cutting you off, they are trying to race you. I am not trying to race, I am trying to drive properly,m” said Jensen.

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“I get nervous because I don’t want to be yelled at.”

Jensen says a “zipper merge,” frequently used in New York where she used to live, just might solve the problem.

“When you come to a bottleneck with a merge you stay in your proper lane, you get to the bottleneck, and you take turns to merge on through,” she said.

READ MORE: Residents raise concerns with potholes leading to N.B. hospital

The two merging lanes were installed to improve the flow of traffic to and from Riverview in preparation for the closure of the causeway and the construction a new bridge by 2021.

Debbie Clark, who owns the convenience store right in front of the merge, says the merge “sucks,” adding that drivers are racing not to let others in

She’s witnessed more than one accident in front of her store.

“You sit there in the morning to have your coffee and newspaper and it is so nerve-wracking,” said Clark.

Global News reached out to the RCMP for comment and didn’t get a response.

WATCH: Do you zipper merge?

The Town of Riverview is planning to make improvement to the lanes.

According to a statement issued by the town in May, the two eastbound lanes on Hillsborough Road that merge past the Gunningsville Bridge will be extended approximately 400 metres later this summer.

“The removal of current lane markings when the asphalt is milled provided the Town with an opportunity to change the lane markings on this section of roadway for a more efficient layout,” Michel Ouellet, the town’s director of engineering and public works,

Jensen would like the town to educate drivers on how to use the site as a zipper merge, especially in light of the planned closure of the causeway in 2021.

“You stay in your proper lane and you get to the bottleneck and you take turns very politely,” she explains.

The Alberta Motor Association recently endorsed the use of zipper merges as a mean of improving traffic flow.

READ MORE: More zipper merges on the way for Regina

Jensen says a zipper merge may not be as familiar for drivers on this side of the country, but she hopes the town will endorse it to help improve traffic flow and cut down on road rage before the causeway closure.

 

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