There's a good reason that the topic of construction and driving through it comes up a lot in these pages - it's something that we live with every day in Ocean and surrounding counties. While none of us like having to drive through it, there is one thing in particular that makes it all that much worse when it doesn't have to be - merging.

Especially at night, lanes close on the Garden State Parkway for construction crews. A highway that's normally three and four lanes gets squeezed down to only one.

But have you noticed that while traffic backs way up going into the lane closures, once you get past the squeeze, traffic flows ok? Slowly, but steadily. Why is that?

It's because nobody wants to merge.

While we get signs well in advance, and numerous ones at that (2 miles before, 1 mile before, 1500 feet before), people still feel the need to get as far ahead as they possibly can before getting out of the lanes that are going away up ahead.

And then, once you finally get to the point where the signs and orange cones force traffic together, nobody wants to let anybody in. Add to that the people who have to get as far up as humanly possible before trying to merge, and you have an unwinnable battle of wills that only causes blood pressures to rise and delays to compound.

So why does New Jersey have a merging problem? Is it an ego thing? Is it a competitive nature thing? What do you think? Weigh in below and let us know your thoughts!

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