I'm from NY. When there's bad traffic (elsewhere in NY, we don't get bad traffic at home), people act like NY drivers. Pretty much get a lot of
Fuck this guy, I'm not letting him in! Find another place to merge buddy.
And various other issues when driving in traffic. NY drivers aren't exactly what you would call "polite" in any sense of the word. It's quite sad actually. I mean, most aren't even nice enough to move over when you're trying to merge from an on-ramp and no one is passing them - but that may just be ignorance.
Here in CA, it feels different. There is ALWAYS traffic here - but the merging seems to go rather well. I don't really understand. When two busy lanes come together, most of what I've seen is very even - one from this side, one from that side, one from this side, etc.
Maybe it's different in other parts of CA even. Maybe they're assholes elsewhere, I don't know. But in the route I've been taking to and from work, I don't think I've had a single issue in getting where I'm going.
One piece I find helpful is having an in-state license plate. That way I'm not automatically badged a tourist that doesn't know where he's going. Though I have to say, even for a tourist, I think I did pretty good getting around - especially without a proper GPS. I had to refer to my phone once or twice - but that's not so bad for being in such a big area.