MassDOT has new message for drivers on I-91 in Springfield

Their electronic sign at the I-91 south merge now reads merge here, take turns.

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP)MassDOT is trying to remind drivers of a lesson often taught to young children: take turns.

Their electronic sign at the I-91 south merge now reads: “Merge here, take turns.” It’s part of the Dynamic merge system meant to reduce traffic at the merge, but drivers are still frustrated.

“One time, I did get stuck in it, was a zoo. It was a mix up to see where people were going and I said: ‘No, I don’t want any more of this.’ I take my time and I go all the way around,” Barry Desrochers of Chicopee said.

MassDOT wants drivers to use both of the left lanes until they get to the merge. At that point, taking turns from each of those left lanes to move into one.

While driving in the far left lane Monday morning we ran into a driver who pulled into the middle of the two left lanes to prevent anyone from going any further in the far left lane, long before where drivers need to merge.

“It’s unfortunate, with signs or no signs, people are going to do that it’s just nature: I want to be first, I want to be next, it’s my turn. We have to live with it until it’s completed, I’m quite sure when it’s completed, most people will be very happy that it is,” Donald Prescott of West Springfield said.

The Dynamic Lane Merge System uses real-time message boards to tell drivers how and when to merge, based on data collected by sensors positioned along the road. The message boards were placed along the highway this past December. MassDOT said several drivers had expressed concerns about safety issues at the merge.