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Old 25.10.2011, 18:58
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New lane markings on A3 to Basel cause gridlock

Alternatively, this could be entitled "how to cause gridlock with nothing more than a bucket of paint."

Swiss road planning is pretty poor at the best of times. I've lost count of the threads on here about dangerous crossings, confusing interchanges, stoplights where they're not needed and no controls where they are. But even with that background, the new road markings on the A3 into Basel (just opposite the FC Basel grounds) have single-handedly gridlocked the entire system.

In the past, there was an (admittedly rather dangerous) section of the road where the right-hand lane turns into an exit lane. At the same time, a new 3rd lane is added on the right-hand side, carrying light traffic from another road. And this used to work -- basically, everyone shifted one lane to the left and traffic kept flowing.

Except over the weekend someone's turned up with a bucket of paint and marked the 3rd lane with a solid white line, so traffic can merge from left-to-right but not, as previously, right-to-left.

Well, this has in effect turned a 3-lane motorway into a single lane. Result? This morning, it added a 20-minute tailback to my commute. And tonight, traffic stretched back as far as I could see.

I don't know who I should write to, but I really do feel like I want to put pen-to-paper to say "do you know what effect your wittery has had on traffic?"



Anyone else get stuck today?
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Old 25.10.2011, 20:58
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Re: New lane markings on A3 to Basel cause gridlock

Do you mean after the turning to Delémont/St Jakob Park? Because I drive in most days and turn off direction St Jakob Park and today noticed the traffic was very heavy in the other lanes going straight ahead .. often the traffic is heavy going in this direction but not so much at 5pm when it is not either the end of the week, the summer or raining.
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Old 25.10.2011, 21:05
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Re: New lane markings on A3 to Basel cause gridlock

Oh dear.

They've done a similar thing - but on a much smaller scale - on one of the roundabouts in Basel. The one near the Zoo, through which the #2 tram goes and leads to Binningen.

*oh the irony, to think of all the threads about Swiss roundabout rules*

Before:
Two lanes in - right lane right turn (i.e. first exit) and straight over (second exit), left lane left turn (third exit)

Now:
Two lanes in - right lane right turn only, left lane straight over and left turn

I saw the new markings first time. People in front of me didn't... Made sure I gave them some space...
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Old 25.10.2011, 21:30
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Re: New lane markings on A3 to Basel cause gridlock

It took my husband ages to get into work this morning and it was the same on the way home apparently.

We have recently moved here so weren't sure whether this was the norm or not. I take it that it isn't normally that bad, or at least it wasn't before they meddled with it...
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Old 25.10.2011, 22:16
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Re: New lane markings on A3 to Basel cause gridlock

We were stuck in the mess this morning too.

But it isn't as bad as it seems - now there are two lanes from the motorway continuing all the way through. So, if you merge in from Delemont (like we do) then you can stay in the right hand lane all the way to Germany - this lane used to go off to Wettstein (not any more). This morning all the regulars not knowing what happened all moved one lane to the left and found they couldn't then move one further to the left - when in fact they didn't need to, they could have just stayed on the right (which is what I'll do tomorrow!)
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Old 25.10.2011, 22:21
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Re: New lane markings on A3 to Basel cause gridlock

And otherwise consider turning off at St Jakob as two lanes separate to the right about 1500m from the turning and allow the traffic turning off to Munchenstein/Delemont/St Jakob to advance practically freely while the other two lines are stationary.
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Old 26.10.2011, 09:07
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Re: New lane markings on A3 to Basel cause gridlock

I encountered big delays near the FC Basel ground on the way to Pratteln around 8pm last week. Normally, I can scoot out there in 5 minutes, but the traffic was at a standstill. I figured there was an accident or roadworks, but I didn't really see anything.

Does this mean it's always going to be like this??!!
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Old 26.10.2011, 09:32
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Re: New lane markings on A3 to Basel cause gridlock

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But it isn't as bad as it seems - now there are two lanes from the motorway continuing all the way through. So, if you merge in from Delemont (like we do) then you can stay in the right hand lane all the way to Germany - this lane used to go off to Wettstein (not any more). This morning all the regulars not knowing what happened all moved one lane to the left and found they couldn't then move one further to the left - when in fact they didn't need to, they could have just stayed on the right (which is what I'll do tomorrow!)
I paid attention this morning and it turns out your right. Not only have they changed the left-hand lane, they've also changed the right-hand lane. It's no longer an exit-only lane.

So, in effect you have two thru lanes with a third lane joining from the left. Once traffic gets used to the new pattern (and the regulars learn that they don't have to merge left, as they used to) this pattern should be safer and more efficient than what was there before.

Now for an interesting lesson in psychology: how long will it take the regulars to adapt to the new pattern?
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Old 26.10.2011, 10:03
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Re: New lane markings on A3 to Basel cause gridlock

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"do you know what effect your wittery has had on traffic?"

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this pattern should be safer and more efficient than what was there before.
Is that an apology?
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Old 26.10.2011, 10:03
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Re: New lane markings on A3 to Basel cause gridlock

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I paid attention this morning and it turns out your right. Not only have they changed the left-hand lane, they've also changed the right-hand lane. It's no longer an exit-only lane.

So, in effect you have two thru lanes with a third lane joining from the left. Once traffic gets used to the new pattern (and the regulars learn that they don't have to merge left, as they used to) this pattern should be safer and more efficient than what was there before.

Now for an interesting lesson in psychology: how long will it take the regulars to adapt to the new pattern?
I can confirm this too, drove in this morning and noted that the right hand exit lane (that I had always thought was a bit tricky) is now a normal lane with a filter going off. Makes lots of sense but as we drove in the middle lane was busiest and the left hand lane was completely empty!

Let's see how everyone gets on, I will stay in the middle lane as per usual..
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Old 26.10.2011, 11:03
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Re: New lane markings on A3 to Basel cause gridlock

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Is that an apology?
Yes, it is a humble apology.

Dear Baselstadt roadworks crew: all is forgiven.
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Old 28.10.2011, 14:17
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Re: New lane markings on A3 to Basel cause gridlock

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I paid attention this morning and it turns out your right. Not only have they changed the left-hand lane, they've also changed the right-hand lane. It's no longer an exit-only lane.

So, in effect you have two thru lanes with a third lane joining from the left. Once traffic gets used to the new pattern (and the regulars learn that they don't have to merge left, as they used to) this pattern should be safer and more efficient than what was there before.

Now for an interesting lesson in psychology: how long will it take the regulars to adapt to the new pattern?
I stay in the right hand lane; works for me then I exit just before Badensich Bahnhof.
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