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Old 04-12-2012, 09:53 AM
 
Location: Woodbury, MN
2 posts, read 3,970 times
Reputation: 11

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I'm relatively new to the area (arrived in August 2011) and I've been commuting between Golden Valley and Woodbury -- not ideal, I know. I'm fortunate to have flexible work hours, so I structure my day to avoid the heaviest traffic and overall I don't mind the commute... except for one part: navigating the exit ramp from I-394E to I-94E (Google maps: Google Maps).

I can't find any guidance about the correct way to handle that trouble area, and in practice people seem to gravitate towards two strategies: sit in the exit lane as far back as the Hwy 100 onramp, or use the I-94W exit lane to try and find a gap further down.

Of the sit and wait bunch, there are two further distinctions: those who try to block gap-finders, and those who leave enough space for the gap-finders to easily merge in.

I know for two-lanes-into-one merging, you are supposed to use both lanes equally and then take turns at the merge point, but in this case 'using both lanes' involves driving in a different exit lane and frequently slowing and/or stopping in that lane, blocking that traffic, so you can squeeze into a gap.

Gap-finding seems very dangerous to I-94W exit laners. The people who allow merging slow down the line for everyone behind them, continuing to offer a large gap despite a constant flow of gap-finders. And the blockers are creating a more dangerous situation for those mergers who stop in the I-94W lane to force a merge.

By the time we're actually merging onto I-94E, the blockers have hypertension, the gap-finders have been nearly killed several times, and the people who allow merging are still dead inside. I've solved this for myself by being a blocker who while not presenting a gap, doesn't get mad if someone forces a merge, and accepts that this trouble spot is worth it to avoid using 694 or 494 to go around.

tl;dr: The exit from I-394E onto I-94E is dangerous and aggravating, what is the 'correct' way to navigate it?
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Old 04-12-2012, 10:09 AM
 
Location: Bel Air, California
23,783 posts, read 27,239,734 times
Reputation: 37301
If the traffic is real bad, I will often stay on 394 into downtown and hang a quick right onto 6th St. If you keep your speed at exactly 62 mph, you'll hit every single light between Target Field and the Metrodome and you will be right back on 94 in a jiffy.
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Old 04-12-2012, 10:19 AM
 
Location: MN
1,669 posts, read 6,023,958 times
Reputation: 958
The correct answer is....

1. Take the Highway 100 exit, but follow it straight back on to 394.
2. Take the Penn Ave exit, then go straight back down the other side.
3. Follow the Dunwoody exit lane passing all of the traffic, waiting to merge on to 94.
4. Take a right on Hennepin Ave.... don't stop at the corner, cars turning right have their very own lane on Hennepin.
5. Merge left about a block up at the Lyndale split.
6. Get back on 94 on the other side of the tunnel.

... or pay a few dollars to use the MN Pass lane.

What Ghengis said probably works too.
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Old 04-12-2012, 10:42 AM
 
Location: Mahtomedi, MN
989 posts, read 2,829,518 times
Reputation: 329
Quote:
Originally Posted by moving123456 View Post
The correct answer is....

1. Take the Highway 100 exit, but follow it straight back on to 394.
2. Take the Penn Ave exit, then go straight back down the other side.
3. Follow the Dunwoody exit lane passing all of the traffic, waiting to merge on to 94.
4. Take a right on Hennepin Ave.... don't stop at the corner, cars turning right have their very own lane on Hennepin.
5. Merge left about a block up at the Lyndale split.
6. Get back on 94 on the other side of the tunnel.

... or pay a few dollars to use the MN Pass lane.

What Ghengis said probably works too.
MNPass no helpy getting onto 94 east from 394 east. Single lane merge and it is a real big cluster F during rush hour. I would say Mr. Ghengis gave a much better suggestion. One other suggestion I have would be to skip 394 to 94 by going using 55 to 94 directly. It would cut out the nasty merge off 394 without adding a lot of distance.
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Old 04-12-2012, 12:20 PM
 
413 posts, read 716,230 times
Reputation: 266
That's a terrible exit, and something I thought they'd fix when they did that additional work on 394 a couple years ago. For a while, they were stationing a cop at the exit, pulling people over who illegally crossed the double white at the last minute.

I rarely have to go that way anymore, but when I did, I pretty much hung as close as I could to the person in front of me to not leave a gap.
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Old 04-12-2012, 12:30 PM
 
20,793 posts, read 59,085,804 times
Reputation: 10679
What about taking 55 (Olson Memorial) to Lyndale to 94 instead--or even staying on 55 to 94 through downtown (not sure how backed up that gets).


Ghengis--is 62 a typo or do you really drive 62 mph through downtown?
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Old 04-12-2012, 12:39 PM
 
Location: Cleveland bound with MPLS in the rear-view
5,530 posts, read 11,347,099 times
Reputation: 2465
Easy:

Stay in the right lane on I-394 as far back as Penn Ave and you can't miss it! That lane becomes I-94 at the tunnel. If you don't get in that right lane early though you may be in trouble....that area back up with traffic almost no matter the day or time, and trying to get back in closer to the exit is just going to make everybody angry.
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Old 04-12-2012, 12:59 PM
 
Location: Bel Air, California
23,783 posts, read 27,239,734 times
Reputation: 37301
Quote:
Originally Posted by golfgal View Post
What about taking 55 (Olson Memorial) to Lyndale to 94 instead--or even staying on 55 to 94 through downtown (not sure how backed up that gets).


Ghengis--is 62 a typo or do you really drive 62 mph through downtown?
well I do honk my horn and flash my brights
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Old 04-12-2012, 01:16 PM
 
Location: Cleveland bound with MPLS in the rear-view
5,530 posts, read 11,347,099 times
Reputation: 2465
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghengis View Post
well I do honk my horn and flash my brights
That's nice of you -- otherwise you'd be flat out rude!
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Old 04-12-2012, 02:11 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles
411 posts, read 949,572 times
Reputation: 283
Any exit onto 94 or onto 35 during that time of day is awful. There is a backup from 35W North onto 94 East or West or 35W South onto 94 Westbound and as you found out it's horrible trying to get from 394 to 94. And you probably also know that Hennepin at the sculpture garden is a nightmare also.

You may just have to learn to live with it and thank god you don't have to drive in L.A.
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