Terça-feira, 23/7/2019 | : : UTC-4
The Reflection

The right-hand lane: friend of foe?

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Why switch lanes when you don’t have to?

Graphic by Parker Feraco

In the middle of Richland stands a four way traffic light. At this intersection, the driver has the ability to go straight on E D Ave using two lanes. At first, this sounds appropriate. Two lanes will cut down traffic at the light and balance out the flow of drivers going straight. However, there remains a bit of a problem. After the intersection, the right lane eventually merges into the left one, causing a bit of confusion and congestion of traffic for drivers. Therefore, using the right lane to continue straight at the Richland intersection is absolutely useless.

Why merge and risk a collision when you can stay in the left lane at the light? It is obviously much easier to wait in the left lane behind a few more cars if you don’t have to risk damaging your car to merge into a different lane. Those who wait in the right lane are just asking for trouble.

The drivers who chose the left lane are always forced to let the indecisive right lane folk merge into their lane. In reality, they really shouldn’t have to let these people come into their lane because it was their decision to move into the lane with no end point. Now, the generous people in the left lane are always kind enough to let the “right-laners” intrude on their left aisle party.

Since the right lane eventually dies, there is very little point to driving in it. Therefore, using the left lane is the only sensible decision.


The right lane is the right lane

Oftentimes tradition and culture may seem to be created without reason. I grew up in Richland, going through the light, always in the 

right lane. I always told my mother it was dumb. If you are going straight, why not avoid having to merge? Why not reserve the right lane for right turners who are able to turn right on red?

I will be the first to admit that, on the surface, it doesn’t quite make sense. Typically one would think that a driver would reserve the right lane for right turners. However, especially during peak driving hours (rush hour, when school lets out, etc.), the center lane does not have the capacity to hold the sheer number of drivers that are turning left or going straight. That overflow must go somewhere, and that somewhere is the right lane.

If you notice, the majority of people in the left lane do indeed turn left, only a the few go straight. And the

majority of people in the right lane go straight, but very few turn right. The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.

Additionally, saying you are reserving the right lane for right turners is a null argument because there aren’t enough right turners to matter. Please refer to the graphic presented, and notice that if all the people that needed to go straight tried to be part of the left lane, there would be a lane overflow and it would cause a traffic backup as people attempted to merge into that lane.

Yes, one does have to merge when using the right lane. But if one have a license, I sure do hope you are able to merge. It’s not a hard task. Certainly, if everyone did it- it’d be just as safe as not merging. People who go straight from the center lane are simply just making it more dangerous for the majority of other people which is selfish and arrogant.


[caption id="attachment_23989" align="alignleft" width="300"] Tova Carter poses for mug shot.[/caption] This year is my first year on newspaper, and my final one at Gull Lake high school. I’ve always wanted to do newspaper but never seemed to have the time. I enjoy writing and have a passion for news.  


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