From: Jennifer Hanson, thenorthbaybay.ca staff
As construction continues throughout North Bay, drivers are once again being reminded that a zipper merge is the fastest and safest way for two lanes of vehicles to join into one.
But a recent poll suggests that nearly 90% of the city is totally unaware of the zipper merge.
“Is that what happens when you get your hoodie string stuck?” asks Cara Ridge, a veteran North Bay driver. “Man, I just hate that.”
The “zipper merge” is a driving strategy in which, when two lanes turn into one, vehicles using the closing lane do so until it begins to merge. At this point, a vehicle allows the merging car access to the single lane.
“Never heard of them,” says North Bayite David Smedley. “Are they some sort of band? It bet I’d hate them – but not nearly as much as I hate letting another vehicle get in front of mine.”
Ignorance is Bliss
Smedley is just one of some 20 000 North Bayites who, when behind the wheel, transform into misguided vehicular vigilantes hell-bent on punishing others for attempting to merge like the vehicle being piloted once had hands and shot two Gotham City socialites in an alleyway.
But sociologist and part-time driving instructor Fraser Pratt says North Bay’s problem might have more to do with collective ignorance that misguided fury.
“The sad fact is, a lot of people in North Bay just don’t know what a zipper is,” explains Pratt. “North Bayites are very much a track pant and sweatshirt kind of people, so most have limited experience with zippers.”
“I know that doesn’t explain why no cab in town can perform a full stop, but one thing at a time, ok?”