Northwest NEWS

December 25, 2000

Editorial

Merge does not mean crowd

I imagine that we are not the only ones irritated by those who regard merge signs and lane end signs as invitations to speed up, crowd in and force someone else to yield.
   Two very obvious examples are the on-ramp to 520 Westbound at the Avondale and Redmond-Fall City intersection and when you are Eastbound on Old Woodinville-Duvall Road at 156th Avenue N.E.
   I do not recall the last time I was at either of these places that I didn't see someone speed right past in the right lane and then crowd their way in.
   Guess what folks? The laws says that when your lane ends, or when you have to merge, you have to yield the right of way. There is no such thing in the traffic code as "Take Turns," and no one has to yield and let you in.
   It never ceases to amaze me that people will drive like jerks, and then when someone won't let them crowd in, throw their arms up in the air as if to say, "What do you expect me to do?"
   I'll tell you what to expect. We expect you to obey the law and yield to the people already in the lane until you have an opening to merge. Please don't get me wrong, most of us do not have any problem with allowing someone already in front of us to merge.
   It's the jerk that feels that he/she is so important that they can pass at the last minute and crowd in that gets our goat.
   Tell you what. The very next time someone refuses to let you pass and crowd in, gives you the single finger wave, honks at you or nails you with their high beams - you go home and look in a mirror.
   I'm betting that over 90 percent of the time you'll be looking at the person that caused it.
   Steve and Nancy Knechtel, Woodinville