This experience is actually what originally inspired our 'What's Different' segment. It's not that incredible, just a little amusing.
Over the holidays clear plastic noise barriers were being installed on the local highway connector, and for several weeks the normally two-lane road was closed down to a single lane. This resulted in the worst traffic we had seen in the area, consistently causing over a half-mile backup and a 10-15 minute wait.
However well before the lane actually closed people would stop using it, leaving a quarter- to a half-mile of open road. I'm not sure how much this actually added to the overall wait, but it certainly created a longer backup. Rather than use up the available space, the expectation according to local custom is that you should politely wait your turn like everyone else.
A small number of people would try to use the open lane to merge at the closure according to the rules, but they would get glared at and often blocked by the other drivers: basically the equivalent of someone driving on the shoulder of the highway to save time in a major metropolitan area.
So there it is: folks here are polite drivers, I'll say that for them.