Yes, this may seem a bit strange, but as I’ve noted before, my topics are all over the map. And today is no exception.

The Weave Lane. You may not know it by name, but you’ve experienced it. Michigan is a fan of them. Texas does not have any.

Detroit: WB M-14/I-96 and I-275.

Portage (Kalamazoo): I-94 and US-131 (all directions)

Grand Rapids: EB I-96 and US-131

Indianapolis: NB I-69 and I-465.

A Weave Lane is usually created at a major intersection where you have an “A” and a “B” exit. Visually, a cloverleaf exists, simultaneously allowing exiting traffic to exit, and entering traffic to enter… all in the same, shared, short lane.

This one came to be during the morning commute the other day. I have both an exit weave and an entrance weave in the same interchange (see the I-94 and US-131 full cloverleaf). Most days, I’m en route to the office long before the commute gets busy, but on days I’m running late, this interchange is absolutely crazy. I find that I can’t merge onto 131 at any speed because traffic is backing up at the exit part of the weave…so it becomes a true weave of one goes off, one comes on, and so forth.

If you aren’t paying attention, this sort of thing can be quite tricky and sometimes a bit dangerous.

So… is the weave lane an out-dated design in our traffic-heavy world? Or, is it a very efficient and functional solution?

By no means am I a civil engineer, but this has piqued my curiosity since I was 16 when, during my first day behind the wheel in driver’s ed, the instructor had me drive one of the weave lanes at the 94/131 interchange.

And what is proper etiquette? If you are exiting (and presumably slowing down), do you slow down and weave in behind the person (presumably accelerating) who is merging on? Or, since you are already going faster, do you pass the entering vehicle, weave in front of them, and then slow down?

It’s a fascinating ballet, really. And oblivious cell-phone talkers certainly add to the comedy!

Ah, but a topic for another day…


One thought on “The Weave Lane: Out-Dated Design or Functional Form?

  1. Pingback: Working Backwards (or, Navigating a Generational Gap) « Thursday Morning Meditations

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s