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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-09-2019, 05:51 PM Thread Starter
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Default Lane drop

Where I grew up in Massachusetts traffic was a nightmare and when there was a lane drop drivers would fill all the pavement then take turns merging in where there was no longer the width for two cars. In the land of rude drivers it's actually very organized and its one of the only situations that Massholes are polite to each other in traffic.

Here in North Carolina everyone moves over about a mile ahead of the merge point. Except pf course that one guy who "cuts" in front of the entire mile of slow moving traffic at the last minute. Well, it use to be one guy. Every year that I have lived here another guy gets smart so now there are 23 guys that cut in front of the several hundred or so. Needless to say this creates a lot of frustration and the invariable fender benders and road rage.

Business I40 is shut down for about three miles for two years for reconstruction in Winston-Salem so east-west traffic sucks at the morning and afternoon rush hours. Luckily I can avoid it most times, and end up in it only once/ month or so. This afternoon I was coming back from Greensboro heading west through Winston-Salem on Business 40 towards the merge point and they installed a variable message sign telling drivers to fill both lanes until the merge point. Holy cow the state actually tying to educate drivers.

It was orderly except for two ricers who were tailing each other in the right lane and were determined to be in front of me instead of alternating right-left like normal people do. Since they were driving shitty cars I happily let them through in front of me. (Back in my youth when I drove my Urban Assault Vehicle the order would have been completely different.)

Anyway, after being here for 23 years it was the first and only time that I have been in a (reasonably) orderly lane drop situation here in North Carolina.
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-09-2019, 05:58 PM
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. . . Holy cow the state actually tying to educate drivers. . .
Do schools still offer drivers ed? I think my parents received some kind of insurance discount when my brother and I took the course in high school.

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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-09-2019, 07:09 PM
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... It was orderly except for two ricers
Read rule 2 carefully. I know what you mean and its about cars but its better to stay away and be safe because crossing the line gets a ban without warning. thanks
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-09-2019, 08:49 PM Thread Starter
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Do schools still offer drivers ed? I think my parents received some kind of insurance discount when my brother and I took the course in high school.
I call it Drivers Mis-ed. I've see a student and his instructor dogging along in the passing lane many times...

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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-09-2019, 08:53 PM Thread Starter
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Read rule 2 carefully. I know what you mean and its about cars but its better to stay away and be safe because crossing the line gets a ban without warning. thanks
Ricer is now a racial slur? Who knew...
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-10-2019, 08:08 AM
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I'm not happy to report that the state of MA still has lane drops in several locations. Each
one results in the situation described above. In fact some people even use the shoulder to go
flying by stopped cars at 50+ MPH - then cut in.

Of course there are no LEOs to be seen anywhere... Why is that always the case?


At best, it's poor highway design by the engineers involved. Worcester has a particularly egregious
situation. 290 westbound drops a lane, from 3 to 2 and immediately afterward has an entrance
ramp from Burncoat St. joining. Within 500 feet or so, 190 joins with 290 and another lane
is dropped forcing cars in lane #3 to merge together. Another 500 feet or so after that the
rightmost lane drops. In another 500 feet the right lane becomes an exit-only lane for
Lincoln St.

Think this has the potential for tie-up and/or collisions? Now add snow/sleet/freezing rain/rain
and darkness into the mix!
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-10-2019, 12:29 PM Thread Starter
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I'm not happy to report that the state of MA still has lane drops in several locations. Each
one results in the situation described above. In fact some people even use the shoulder to go
flying by stopped cars at 50+ MPH - then cut in.

Of course there are no LEOs to be seen anywhere... Why is that always the case?


At best, it's poor highway design by the engineers involved. Worcester has a particularly egregious
situation. 290 westbound drops a lane, from 3 to 2 and immediately afterward has an entrance
ramp from Burncoat St. joining. Within 500 feet or so, 190 joins with 290 and another lane
is dropped forcing cars in lane #3 to merge together. Another 500 feet or so after that the
rightmost lane drops. In another 500 feet the right lane becomes an exit-only lane for
Lincoln St.

Think this has the potential for tie-up and/or collisions? Now add snow/sleet/freezing rain/rain
and darkness into the mix!

I worked on Mass highway planning for four years at the beginning of my career, early 80's. Although they follow national standards they also have their own policies. Although I'm not familiar with these particular situations, the lane drops are typically due to lack of right-of-way. Back in the 80's highway planning was a 20 year schedule; today I'm sure it's even worse due to higher federal standards, noise remediation, salt water treatment, the list is nearly endless. EVERYONE fights the Commonwealth when a road is planned to be widened. Add to that the amount of local control over state roads and its a complete disaster.

Here in NC we have a lot of the same concerns but a huge difference in county and municipal influence. The State DOT enjoys tremendous power on state rights of way to the point where they are abusive. I've fought them before over drainage issues, getting a state legislator involved (the only effective way to battle) and they simply disagree with the laws of physics (lie), stonewall, and bury you in paperwork. This was over a simple matter that could have been fixed in a day with a small crew.

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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-10-2019, 06:09 PM
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I had to look up "Ricer Car"

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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-10-2019, 07:35 PM
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@iconoclast thanks for sharing the video. I was just about to go google this term. I have to say the cars they shared were interesting to say the least.

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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-11-2019, 08:09 AM Thread Starter
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Wow not everyone knows the term "ricer". How about "fart can"? As in, "Most ricers sport fart cans."


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