Georgetown residents will remember where they were during the great 'zipper merge' of 2023. One local woman, however, is cementing the town’s latest inside joke for a good cause.
Georgetown resident Macey Auger is selling printed T-shirts commemorating the local traffic fiasco that has become a social media sensation.
Proceeds from the T-shirt sales and several other fundraising initiatives Auger is undertaking have helped her meet entry requirements for the prestigious Boston Marathon.
Hopefuls can either qualify by meeting the marathon’s fitness requirements or raising money for a Massachusetts-based charity. Auger is splitting her profits between Special Olympics Massachusetts and the Georgetown Bread Basket. She has raised $10,000 and counting, which qualifies her to participate in the April 15, 2024 marathon.
She has been training for the marathon since 2022. She started with a 5K run and, she says, “got a little addicted and here we are.”
Auger was inspired to create the T-shirts after seeing numerous posts in the Georgetown Tell and Sell Facebook group about the traffic situation in a construction zone on Mountainview Road, where drivers are directed to use the zipper merge technique to keep vehicles moving along.
But according to many, this merging method - where drivers fill up both lanes and then take turns merging at the point where one lane ends - often isn't used.
“Basically my entire (Facebook) feed was just filled with people complaining about how bad the traffic was,” Auger recalled.
Posts going back to mid-September paint a picture of a town finding humour in a negative situation. Auger then saw a post with a comical street sign containing the same message she decided to use for the shirt.
“I think it’d be funny to look in your mirror at the person behind you and see them wearing the shirt while they are stuck on the merge itself,” Auger said with a laugh.
And it appears the shirts are a hit, with one customer reporting that he wore his zipper merge apparel to Georgetown Market Place and was approached by many people who saw the humour in the slogan and wanted to know where to get one.
Auger said she will keep selling more shirts as long as there's interest. She plans to continue posting regularly on the Tell and Sell group. Those interested in purchasing their own for $30 can simply comment on those posts or directly message her on Facebook.