June 16, 2024
Confused Driver in Bozeman, Montana

BOZEMAN, Montana – In a startling revelation from the latest national driving skills survey, Bozeman has earned a dubious distinction: the city’s drivers are officially the worst in the nation when it comes to merging, particularly mastering the elusive art of the zipper merge.

The survey, conducted by the National Institute of Traffic and Transportation (NITT), assessed various driving skills across U.S. cities. While Bozeman drivers scored reasonably well in categories like speed limit adherence and use of parking brakes on hills, their approach to merging left researchers bewildered.

“It’s as if the concept of the zipper merge is an unsolvable riddle for them,” said Dr. Ava Martinez, lead researcher at NITT. “We observed instances where drivers either sped up to block others from merging or came to a complete standstill, causing unnecessary traffic jams every single day.”

Local driver Bob Smith, interviewed during rush hour as he aggressively ignored the merge signs, shared, “Zipper merge? I thought that was some sort of fashion trend. I just merge whenever I feel like it. It’s like a game of chicken, but with cars.”

The survey highlighted several amusing yet concerning trends among Bozeman drivers:

  • Merge-A-Phobia: An inexplicable fear of merging lanes, leading to creative avoidance tactics.
  • Premature Merging Syndrome: Merging at the first sight of a merge sign, often a mile or more before the actual merge point.
  • The Bozeman Standoff: Drivers coming to a complete stop in merging lanes, resulting in a confusing and dangerous scenario.

Local driving schools are reportedly overwhelmed with requests for classes specifically focusing on merging techniques. “We’ve added extra sessions titled ‘Zipper Merge 101: The Basics of Merging Without Tears,'” said a driving instructor.

Meanwhile, city officials are considering unconventional solutions. “We’re thinking of installing large zipper illustrations on merge lanes,” said a city planner. “Maybe a visual aid will help drive the point home. We might even throw in some Velcro for good measure.”

As Bozeman grapples with its newfound fame, residents remain optimistic. “At least we’re the best at being the worst at something,” quipped another local driver, as they mistakenly turned into an oncoming traffic lane, mistaking it for a merging lane.

For now, the zipper merge remains a 100,000 piece jigsaw puzzle to work on in the dark for Bozeman drivers. But there’s hope that someday, perhaps, they’ll crack the code. Until then, fellow motorists are advised to brace themselves when entering Bozeman – it’s going to be a bumpy ride.