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Jun 27, 2017 Return to Headlines

Coquitlam drivers asked to “Merge like a Zipper”

by Robbin Whachell |

COQUITLAM, BC, June 27, 2017 – The City of Coquitlam is asking for your help in improving traffic safety, and reducing the impacts of road closures by “Merging like a Zipper” in construction zones.

Throughout this summer’s road construction period, new signs will be implemented advising drivers to use the late merge or “zipper method” when roadways are merging into a reduced number of lanes.

In this method, drivers are asked to equally use all lanes to advance to the reduction point, where they then alternate merging at that location – like the teeth of a zipper. This method is particularly helpful during periods when traffic volumes are heavy, and the lane closure has resulted in “stop and go traffic” (the typical norm in construction zones).

Although it seems counter-intuitive to some drivers, by using both lanes right up to the merge point, motorists improve safety for themselves and construction workers. The method also reduces the overall length of traffic queues, increases traffic capacity, which can reduce driver frustration.

If traffic volumes are light and moving under normal speed ”free flow” conditions, motorists can and should merge over early, as space in the open lane allows.

This technique applies equally to roadways where a permanent merge lane exists, as much as construction zones where the merge is temporary.

Regardless of traffic conditions and the type of merge that should be used, motorists are asked to always slow down, obey the traffic signs, and traffic control personel who are working to keep drivers, pedestrians,  and road crews safe, while minimizing the impact of delays.

For more information on road construction projects taking place in the City of Coquitlam, visit

For more information on traffic signals and signs in Coquitlam, visit

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