The deployment criteria in regard to addressing the heavy traffic zipper merge is being taken quite seriously. Dynamic zipper merge installations wishes to reverse the heavy potential for serious accidents owing to the characteristic but uncontrolled buildup of the zipper merge. A dynamic lane merge system has been developed.
It has been divided into two sub-systems, namely the dynamic late merge and the dynamic early merge. But it does not necessarily follow that both these systems have to be developed, installed and utilized at that same time. It would all be dependent on the traffic flow conditions and how congested it is.
These developed systems are merely designed to be utilized as part of a temporary traffic control plan in the event of several heavy traffic scenarios developing over a specified period of time. High hourly traffic volumes occurring cause queues of traffic prior to reaching the merge area. The length of time that such queues run for on the average is measured to be at least two hours per day. And it usually takes well in excess of a thousand passing cars per the hour to cause such traffic queues.
It is argued that without a dynamic zipper merge system installed, the estimated traffic queue lengths are going to impact on intersection and/or interchange operations much further down the highway stretch. Heavy congestion and altered speeds impact the driver’s ability to properly identify best lane use practice. One such example is that of utilizing both lanes as opposed to having to move into the ‘continuous thru-lane’.
The developed and installed dynamic zipper merge is able to alert drivers of upcoming traffic slow- downs or stoppages. The merge system also gives directions on using both lanes prior to reaching the designated merge point.