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Produced & Maintained by Idaho Mountain Express, Box 1013, Ketchum, ID 83340-1013 
208.726.8060 Voice
208.726.2329 Fax

Copyright © 2003 Express Publishing Inc.
All Rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Express Publishing Inc. is prohibited. 

For the week of October 22 - 28, 2003


Time to citation-
train drivers

Highway 75 commuters know the problem.

Every day, perfectly calm, sane and sensible people are brought to fury when they are cut off, stopped or threatened by death as they try to merge from two lanes to one at the East Fork light.

Tales of frustration are piling up. Yet, the situation is receiving little or no attention from law enforcement.

East Fork is not the only site with merging issues—Ketchum, Bellevue and the Elkhorn light are others. But it’s the worst because cars there are traveling at or beyond the posted 55 mph speed limit.

Traffic experts have stated repeatedly that drivers should use both lanes and make their cars merge like the teeth of a zipper when the highway narrows to a single lane. Yet, too many drivers do not.

Some left-lane drivers behave as though right-lane drivers have no right to merge, let alone drive the same highway. These drivers block out right-lane drivers and bring them to a stop.

Many left-lane drivers have given up the right lane due to the trauma of previous experiences in the right lane.

The result is a slower than optimal and dangerous commute for everyone.

The situation will not change any time soon. Improvement of the rest of Highway 75 is still a long way off.

In the meantime, there’s something that could help smooth the commute: Signs and law enforcement.

We’d suggest something along the lines of "Hey, Jerk! Left, right, left, right—this is the way to merge!"

The ones supposed to get the message will immediately recognize themselves in the salutation. However, we’re sure the Idaho Transportation Department has more polite and informative signs.

Which brings us to law enforcement. Where is the Blaine County Sheriff’s Department? It’s time to citation-train drivers.

We realize the department has a lot to do in this sprawling county, but spending an occasional morning and evening hour at the problem merge lanes would yield a high return on investment by bringing peace and harmony to a divided highway.



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The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.