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Mesh!

A traffic sign
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When two lanes of traffic merge, you may see some sort of "merging traffic" sign. However, this sign assumes people will be polite about merging, and as we all know, there are lots out there who will hog as much road as they can get.

So, it seems to me that a traffic sign that more explicitly encourages polite merging of traffic, could be a Good Thing.

What I have in mind is an image somewhat like a zipper. See how the teeth of a zipper mesh? Imagine each tooth represents an automobile, and the two sides of a zipper are like the two lanes of traffic that need to MESH, not just merge.

It is possible that slightly zippier traffic would result from such a sign, too....

Vernon, Sep 08 2006

UK variants... http://images.googl...?q=%22merge+in+turn
...say it in words. [zen_tom, Sep 08 2006]

(PDF) Study about changing merge signs. http://docs.trb.org...0traffic%20merge%22
A small Conneticut study that tried out different signs to encourage zipper merging; measured changes in traffic behavior that resulted. [jutta, Sep 08 2006]

German large zipper merge sign http://ahandyman.co...?alb=60&act=V&pic=1
The writing below says "Reissverschluss" (zipper) "erst in 250m" (only in 250m.) [jutta, Sep 09 2006]

Proposed sign for USA (standard black on yellow rhombus) http://www.nemitz.net/vernon/Mesh!.bmp
As described. [Vernon, Sep 11 2006]

[link]






       Hi Vernon, we have textual ones here in the UK that encourage you to "Merge In Turn".
zen_tom, Sep 08 2006
  

       Here in Germany, the sign says either:
"Einfädeln lassen" = Let others "thread in" or
"Reißverschluß" = Zip!
squeak, Sep 08 2006
  

       Thanks. I've not seen anything like those here in the USA. And that big blue one with the cars and the arrows is not far from what I had in mind. However, here in the USA, most traffic-suggestion signs are much smaller, yellow rhomboids, and I was thinking about what might fit there. Those German words are 'way too long! "Mesh" is practically perfect, provided the average person reading it can connect the notion of meshing gears or zippers, to meshing traffic. And so I suggested the zipper image.
Vernon, Sep 08 2006
  

       --__--__--__--__+ I love the idea, but it is the part about being polite that a lot of drivers need to learn, regardless of what the sign shows.
xandram, Sep 08 2006
  

       Thanks, [jutta]!
Vernon, Sep 08 2006
  

       What [Squeak] said is also done here in the Netherlands. We call it ritsen, which means zipping. Bring it to the states!
zeno, Sep 09 2006
  

       Oh, and there are signs that look like a zipper.
zeno, Sep 09 2006
  

       "Mesh" tend to bring the noun (a fabric or screen mesh) to mind rather than the verb.
Aq_Bi, Sep 10 2006
  

       We have signs exactly as described, with the phrase "Merge Like A Zip" printed on them as well.   

       MFD? Surely - but I've been wrong before.
Texticle, Sep 10 2006
  

       Seems like a lot of non-US signs use "Zip!" In the US, "zip" also means to move along at high speed. Could cause some dangerous confusion about the proper protocol.
nick_n_uit, Sep 10 2006
  

       When I saw that zip sign, I did - but then was very paranoid about the resolution of those traffic cameras.
bungston, Sep 11 2006
  

       [Aq_Bi], I agree that the simple word "MESH" can be misinterpreted, although if it is found on a standard yellow rhomboid highway-information sign (in the USA), I'm not so sure about how often the wrong interpretation would be made. Nevertheless, this is easily fixed by adding an exclamation mark. "MESH!" then becomes both a traffic-directing command, and a verb only. So I'm going to modify the title of this Idea.   

       [jutta], I see that that German sign has three colors. I'm attempting to concoct a sketch of the sort of zipper sign I was describing in the US standard black-on-yellow; that PDF has a couple that are similar, but I didn't see an exact match. I understand you were working on ways of adding images to HB Idea pages; what would I need to do to post my notion, when finished?
Vernon, Sep 11 2006
  

       Post it somewhere else that hosts images or files (e.g., flickr, your own ISP), then link to it.
jutta, Sep 11 2006
  

       The sign should show the international symbol for a zipper. Drivers in the USA would generally not obey any sign that is clearly stated in English. But if they had to drive by a couple of times to figure it out, they might like it then.
undata, Sep 13 2006
  
      
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