Northwest NEWS

January 15,2001


Let people merge

I am disturbed by the attitude displayed in last week's editorial regarding traffic and people's inability to merge. The authors point out that the law states "When your lane ends, or when you have to merge, you have to yield the right of way."
   They go on to conclude that "there is no such thing in the traffic code as "take turns," and "no one has to yield and let you in."
   While this may be the interpretation of the law where the authors came from (California?), here in the Northwest there is a moral law that one should abide by: don't purposely block someone's attempt to merge.
   Every day I witness arrogant drivers speeding up to close the gap in front of them, intentionally thwarting another driver's attempt to merge. I don't know anyone who is ever in such a hurry that they can't tap on their brake and let someone merge in front of them.
   People complain about the painfully slow traffic here, and yet they make matters worse by impeding the flow of traffic at every on-ramp.
   Have you ever noticed that 90 percent of the traffic jams occur right before a major merging point?
   One more car in front of you on the freeway won't make you late.
   The solution posed last week was that those wishing to merge wait until there is an "opening." Merging onto I-405 with a stream of cars flying past you is not the time to stop and wait for an enormous gap.
   If merging were supposed to be conducted in the manner suggested last week, there would be a stop sign at the end of every on-ramp.
   The real solution to the problem is that everyone be courteous and stop driving like they are the only important person on the road.
   Ian Jacobson, Woodinville