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What's a 'zipper merge'? Tucson officials push traffic technique in construction area

Posted at 3:10 PM, Aug 14, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-15 11:12:53-04

Tucson city officials are rolling out a new strategy to fight congestion near a packed construction project this week.

Starting Wednesday morning, drivers will notice signs advocating the "zipper merge" on southbound Kolb Road, approaching East Valencia Road, where a construction project has left traffic particularly snarled.

The technique requires drivers to wait until the last second before merging from a closed lane, as explained by the Alberta Motor Association (AMA) in Canada:

The AMA says the technique has shown to improve traffic flow by as much as 40 percent, though it can only be used on low-speed roadways.

Drivers in the area can expect to see the change in place by midday, Wednesday.