How do you queue?

I do best on country roads where I may see another car every five minutes or so.

This thought came to me as I drove downstate in increasingly heavy traffic. I knew I had to get off the Cross Island Parkway onto the Long Island Expressway. I used to commute here in my earlier days and was accustomed to the road and its traffic patterns.

Like a good doobie, I got into the right lane early so I would be well positioned for the exit. Then I became annoyed, and even a little angry, as more and more cars pulled into the right lane at the last minute. This made me look up queue theory and traffic patterns.

Apparently it is predictable and even preferred that you wait until close to the last minute to merge. If everyone got into the right lane early, there would be a crawling lane of traffic for miles. By pulling in late, traffic is allowed to flow more smoothly. And here I was chalking it up to entitlement and all sorts of negative things.

So please don’t honk at me the next time I cut you off in a merge. I’m just keeping traffic flowing. Or as Tim likes to say, zapping you.

In the meantime, I will stick to the country, where the biggest problems are deer, turkeys, and even bears crossing the road.

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