Driving into Fort Worth from the west on I-30 has presented motorists with a quandary this week.
A construction project means traffic is being funneled into one lane. A sign tells motorists to merge left one mile ahead. Some drivers think that means immediately begin looking for a place to merge left. Other drivers think that means punch the accelerator and drive in the right-hand lane for as far as they can.
But it’s rude to pass up everybody in the left lane and then try to cut into the line at the very last minute. It also gums up things and slows down the process. One long line means drivers can focus on just the car ahead of them and not worry about line jumpers trying to squeeze a 15-foot long vehicle into the 6-foot space between your car and the one in front of you.
But one of my esteemed colleagues who shall remain nameless says drivers should stay in the right lane until the merge point, then move into the left lane.
“If everybody meets at the merge point, the line goes faster,” my co-worker said. “It’s better to have two lanes funneling into one, instead of a long super line.”
I asked him how he knows this.
“Experience,” he says.
But I’m older than him and so I’m more experienced, and I think he’s wrong. Waiting until the end not only slows things down, it’s just plain rude.
“It’s not cutting in line,” he insists. “The merge point is where the line officially starts. The merge point is to move as much traffic as possible through the construction zone.”
He says road crews know what they are doing and they expect the vehicles in right lane to stay there until the merge point.
Then, his true colors begin to show: “You wait in the long-ass line, I’m going to get in the fast lane and we’ll see who is going to get there quicker,” he says.
In conclusion, he characterized people in the left lane as “sheep” and the ones that remain in the right lane until the last minute as “wolves.”
So, I guess I’m a sheep. A courteous sheep. Not a line-jumping and self-centered wolf who roots for the Pittsburgh Steelers of all things.
I’m taking an informal survey on this – who’s right, me or the wolf?