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Jug Handles & Circles
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Thread: Jug Handles & Circles

  1. #1
    New Jersey Ambassador Admin & Founder JerseyDevil's Avatar
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    Default Jug Handles & Circles

    I felt I needed to post a thread on Jug Handles. It seems there are so many posts on other messageboards which complain about jug handles in NJ. For some reason out of staters can't comprehend why it's better not to have left hand turns in heavy traffic areas. Oky - I guess before going any further I should explain what a jug handle is for those who are unfamiliar.

    On many roads in NJ you can't make left hand turns at many intersections, you must get into the right lane and then get off the road, veer around and come to the light. Then you can cross the road you were just on - thus making a round about left hand turn.

    This is a picture which will better explain it for people.




    I find it so funny that out of staters don't seem to be able to grasp this simple concept or understand the benefits of it. Channel 7 NY news even had it as their first "what's bugging you" segment. I guess a lot of New Yorkers complain about it.

    If we did away with the jug handles, we would need to have left hand turn lanes installed, then we would need the light to include a left turn signal, whch would then cause a futher delay for the full green to change and allow for the majority fo traffic to go through. It would cause far more traffic congestion. The jughandle PREVENTS traffic congestion because it takes cars that are going to need to stop to make a left hand turn off the main roadway.

    I suppose next we'll have to go over the function of a circle and how to navigate that. That is another thing out of staters seem to have a hard time managing. Although - sadly many of NJ's circles are being removed.

    BTW - Jughandles also allow you to make u-turns.
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    New Jersey Ambassador Admin & Founder JerseyDevil's Avatar
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    Here is the ridiculous "article" that ABC Channel 7 news had concerning jughandles.

    What's Bugging You? Driving In New Jersey!
    It's What's Bugging You!

    By Jeff Rossen

    (New York-WABC, July 12, 2005) - A lot of people think driving in New Jersey is like driving in a foreign country. From "hard to exit" designated lanes to jughandles - it's a confusing place to get around and it's What's Bugging You!

    Eyewitness News reporter Jeff Rossen is here to explain.
    New Jersey drivers have a bad reputation. But, maybe it's not the drivers - maybe it's the weird traffic patterns. We're talking about jughandles. You're driving along, have to turn left, but to make the left you have to turn right. Confused? So is everyone else.

    Oh, we've all been there. Any other state, you want to make a left, you get in the left lane. Not in New Jersey.

    Driver: "You have to make a right to make a left."

    She's right. It's called a jughandle. Here's how it works: to make a left, you have to bear right and go around this little circle onto the other side of the road. Only then can you make the left, or the u-turn.

    One man tried to explain it to us...

    Driver: "The lane going straight, this lane is to turn left and go straight and then there's a left lane."

    Jeff Rossen: "I have to be honest, I have no idea what you're talking about right now."

    To make matters worse, each intersection has its own set of rules.

    This is what's so confusing - in some places you can make a left turn, but other places you can't - there's no consistency."

    Even that would be okay, if the signs were better. We noticed they sit just feet from the jughandles. There's no time to react. At one intersection the sign was blocked by a pole. Good luck getting over in time.

    Driver: "If you miss it then you got to go up a few blocks and turn around - more delays, you know."

    Driver: "I have no idea why, do you know why?"

    Yes, we do. According to the New Jersey Department of Transportation, the jughandles are safer than normal left turns. Officials say it prevents cars from lining up on the busy roadway waiting to make a left.

    Instead, they're off to the side. Problem is, drivers get confused and swerve at the last minute.

    Driver: "It's okay I don't have a problem with it."

    Jeff Rossen: "You've been brainwashed by this state!"

    Driver: "No!"

    Transportation officials say jughandles are catching on nationwide and, on busy two or three lane roads you can expect to see more of them.

    (Copyright 2005 WABC-TV)
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    Recent Resident Eric Stephenson's Avatar
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    My first thought when I read the article was that the author was an idiot but the more I thought about it the more merit I see to the article.

    Until you have lived in this state for awhile jug handles and circles are somewhat confusing. More so circles then jug handles in my opinion.

    Regardless of what the law says each circle is unique. Traffic flow at some circles follow the law which says that traffic already in the circle has the right of way. Some circles say to heck with that, whichever road is the major artery into the circle has right of way but the rest of the circle follows the law. Then of course there are some circles that the traffic in the circle yields to incoming traffic all the way around.

    I know, I know this post/article was about jug handles.

    In my travels over the last couple of years I have been in/around most of the states along the east coast and have definitely noticed a shift towards jug handles and circles.

    I personally think that jug handles are a good idea in most cases. They alleviate potential bottleneck situations on major roads. Actually let me rephrase that, they take the bottleneck from the major thoroughfare and place it on a side road.

    So instead of the major road having a situation where you might have to go from 50 MPH to 0 MPH because of a single idiot trying to get from the right lane to the left hand turn lane in about 10 feet, you can move all of these people off the major road onto a side road that enables them to do what they want without affecting the other people.

    No did that muddy the waters even more?

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    New Jersey Ambassador Admin & Founder JerseyDevil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Stephenson
    My first thought when I read the article was that the author was an idiot but the more I thought about it the more merit I see to the article.

    Until you have lived in this state for awhile jug handles and circles are somewhat confusing. More so circles then jug handles in my opinion.

    Regardless of what the law says each circle is unique. Traffic flow at some circles follow the law which says that traffic already in the circle has the right of way. Some circles say to heck with that, whichever road is the major artery into the circle has right of way but the rest of the circle follows the law. Then of course there are some circles that the traffic in the circle yields to incoming traffic all the way around.
    I actually haven't run into many problems with circles - although the one on 206 by Somerset is a mess. There is a lot of traffic there and you really have to watch it. Of course that is why NJ is removing so many circles - the traffic is just too much for them to handle anymore.

    I should say the worst jug handle is in Toms River on Rt 37 & Hooper Ave. It's not so much of a jug hande as it is having to actually pull onto 3 seperate roads, all of which have quite a bit of traffic. I generall go up to the next jug handle and turn around that way now. Hooper Ave, and Toms River in general has just becom a traffic nightmare.
    I know, I know this post/article was about jug handles.
    Not anymore - I added circles in there too. It just made sense to make them both into one thread. Non-New Jerseyans generally seem to have trouble with handling both road types.
    In my travels over the last couple of years I have been in/around most of the states along the east coast and have definitely noticed a shift towards jug handles and circles.

    I personally think that jug handles are a good idea in most cases. They alleviate potential bottleneck situations on major roads. Actually let me rephrase that, they take the bottleneck from the major thoroughfare and place it on a side road.

    So instead of the major road having a situation where you might have to go from 50 MPH to 0 MPH because of a single idiot trying to get from the right lane to the left hand turn lane in about 10 feet, you can move all of these people off the major road onto a side road that enables them to do what they want without affecting the other people.
    Jug handles are great. The only reason people from out of state criticise them is because they don't understand them. Then again - New Jersey has been on the cutting edge of many highway improvements. NJ invented the cloverleaf highway, and of course the Jersey Barrier - which is the cement dividers that people see that seperate the two opposing lanes of highway and prevent oncoming traffic from jumping into the wrong lanes.
    No did that muddy the waters even more?
    Nope - don't think you muddied the waters more.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JerseyDevil
    I suppose next we'll have to go over the function of a circle and how to navigate that. That is another thing out of staters seem to have a hard time managing. Although - sadly many of NJ's circles are being removed.

    BTW - Jughandles also allow you to make u-turns.
    I think circles are a great idea. They permit traffic to flow without stopping when traffic volume is light. The only addition that most circles could use is the addition fo yield signs to assist with the right of way (I reccommend yields for all traffice entering the circle) and at the higher volume circles, perhaps a traffic light to help create gaps in the traffic around the circle.

    Some of the worst circles IMO: The 73/70 Circle near Evesham and the 73/30 circle near Berlin, The circle at exit 135 of the NJParkway near Westfield.

    In most cases, I think if people exercised some common sense and caution there would not be many problems with circles.

    I do not find any problems with jughandles. IMO, they are ideal for handling higher volumes of traffic than left turn lanes.

    They only caveat with jughandles is that they need to have sufficient room to accommodate the traffic that they will handle in an efficient manner.

    The jughandle @ SR-37 and Hooper Ave in Toms River is a good example of a Jughandle that needs to be redesigned. (Probably will not happen since there is not much room available to redesign the road without needing to buy some property out.
    Sincerely,
    Anthony


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    That would make a great NJ motto "NEW JERSEY JUG HANDLES AND CIRCLES" and if Corzine wins it could be "JUGHEAD AND CIRCLES"
    DAVE GERING
    MANAGER JERSEY STORE EWR

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    Hola.

    I just moved here from California.

    Jug handles are a complete pain in the ass and I can do without them. I can see the logic in them. I can see how they actually work. I actually think they're clever. There are two things I don't like about them. First, they take up much more space than a simple left turn lane. In fact, on a lot of streets, there's such a huge median, you can put two or three left turn lanes in there and develop that jug handle. Second is the complete inconsistency. Some are before the intersection, some are after. Some take you onto the intersecting street, some bypass the street completely. Some have another stop light at the intersecting street, some don't. Some are well labeled, some aren't.

    That leads me to another thing. You guys have *way* too many signs. There's too much reading required to find your way around in a car. Other than those two, NJ's not too bad thus far. Wait, also the fact that it's nearly impossible to find cherry tomatoes here. That sucks ass.

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    New Jersey Ambassador Admin & Founder JerseyDevil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shu Chow
    Hola.

    I just moved here from California.
    Welcome to AboutNewJersey.com Shu Chow and welcome to New Jersey.
    Jug handles are a complete pain in the ass and I can do without them. I can see the logic in them. I can see how they actually work. I actually think they're clever. There are two things I don't like about them. First, they take up much more space than a simple left turn lane. In fact, on a lot of streets, there's such a huge median, you can put two or three left turn lanes in there and develop that jug handle.
    The thing is the purpose is to prevent traffic tie ups, not necessarily to save space. Regarless of how many left hand turn lanes may be able to be put in, they would still need to put in a left hand turn light which would cause the main traffic to have a longer wait at the light.
    Second is the complete inconsistency. Some are before the intersection, some are after. Some take you onto the intersecting street, some bypass the street completely. Some have another stop light at the intersecting street, some don't.
    Most jug handles aren't put in until way way after the road is initially built once traffic gets bad and they have to relieve the traffic on the main road. They take out the left hand turn lanes and then they put the jug handle in where it makes the most sense, or where they can due to buildings or other things occupying the space they need to install it.
    Some are well labeled, some aren't.

    That leads me to another thing. You guys have *way* too many signs. There's too much reading required to find your way around in a car.
    I have to agree here, signage is a problem. It's not such a problem once you get used to it, but some areas are better than others. However, I've never found where a jug handle wasn't labeled, but many are not labeled properly and people can easily not see the sign. It's all thanks to the beauracracy that is the DoT. I would like them to reanalyze the signage on the roads and basically consolate signs and add signs that show drivers where attractions are. Instead of the blue or brown sign they use for attractions, I would like them to switch over to the buff yellow of the state flag, with blue writing. They would be much more noticeable than the brown signs. They should also make them consitant, I find it ridiculous that they have a sign for Adventure Aquarium all the way on 280, when they don't supply signs for attractions that are ACTUALLY in the area. Adventure Aquarium is no where near 280, it's two hours away. I like the way Ontartio does their attraction signs. They list the attractions on ONE sign at the highway exits, so you know what is there if you get off the road.

    Can you tell me where you live so I can get a better idea of the area you are saying has too many signs? The industrial area of the Turnpike has a ton of size, and people really have to watch. especially around Newark Liberty International. So many major roads converge and drivers who are unfamiliar with where they are going, really have to make snap decisions going 65 mph.
    Other than those two, NJ's not too bad thus far. Wait, also the fact that it's nearly impossible to find cherry tomatoes here. That sucks ass.
    I've never had any trouble getting cherry tomatoes in NJ. I don't think I've ever seen them grown at the farms too much, at least at their roadside stands, but I see them at the grocery stores all the time.
    New Jersey is the only state honored by two resorts at Walt Disney World. The Beach Club Resort, modeled after Historic Cape May and The Boardwalk Resort, after Atlantic City. If the Jersey Shore is good enough for Walt Disney to recreate, isn't the REAL Jersey Shore even better for you and your family?

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    Speaking of road signs, has anyone noticed that lots of the green overhead street signs in certain areas of central Jersey are so faded that they can't be read, especially at night? I was trying to find my way around in South Brunswick the other night, and at first I thought I was going blind til I realized it was a problem with the signs.

    Regards,
    Debbie
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    Quote Originally Posted by DebbieSans
    Speaking of road signs, has anyone noticed that lots of the green overhead street signs in certain areas of central Jersey are so faded that they can't be read, especially at night? I was trying to find my way around in South Brunswick the other night, and at first I thought I was going blind til I realized it was a problem with the signs.
    Yes I have. I was in a similar situation trying to find something and the overhead signs were completely unreadable. I can't remember where I was - but it was also central NJ. Something has to be done, instead all I hear is how Codey is proposing mandatory steroid testing for high school students and Corzine is going on and on about creating a state-wide smoking ban. Sorry, but those aren't important issues in NJ as far as I'm concerned, those are feel good "politically correct" distractions.
    New Jersey is the only state honored by two resorts at Walt Disney World. The Beach Club Resort, modeled after Historic Cape May and The Boardwalk Resort, after Atlantic City. If the Jersey Shore is good enough for Walt Disney to recreate, isn't the REAL Jersey Shore even better for you and your family?

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    Hi JD,

    Are those signs town jurisdiction or state? I'd love to write to someone about it.

    Regards,
    Debbie
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    Quote Originally Posted by DebbieSans
    Hi JD,

    Are those signs town jurisdiction or state? I'd love to write to someone about it.

    Regards,
    Debbie
    Hey Deb -
    I think they may be township signs, but you can always contact Department of Transportation. From my understanding DoT is supposed to be in charge of the placement of all road signs.
    New Jersey is the only state honored by two resorts at Walt Disney World. The Beach Club Resort, modeled after Historic Cape May and The Boardwalk Resort, after Atlantic City. If the Jersey Shore is good enough for Walt Disney to recreate, isn't the REAL Jersey Shore even better for you and your family?

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    Quote Originally Posted by DebbieSans
    Speaking of road signs, has anyone noticed that lots of the green overhead street signs in certain areas of central Jersey are so faded that they can't be read, especially at night? I was trying to find my way around in South Brunswick the other night, and at first I thought I was going blind til I realized it was a problem with the signs.

    Regards,
    Debbie
    Near Red Bank the sign for Sycamore Rd is faded out (as viewed by NB traffic). Fortunately the sign was legible to SB traffic.

    I am not sure what causes the fading out. (I guess it is from the environment)

    The overhanging signs are a great Idea. I first saw them down in the Orlando, FL area during the summer 1995.

    They will need to use a material that is resistant to fading.
    Sincerely,
    Anthony


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    Quote Originally Posted by JerseyDevil
    Welcome to AboutNewJersey.com Shu Chow and welcome to New Jersey.
    Thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by JerseyDevil

    Can you tell me where you live so I can get a better idea of the area you are saying has too many signs? The industrial area of the Turnpike has a ton of size, and people really have to watch. especially around Newark Liberty International.
    I'm in Monmouth County. It's ok here, but even when you have an intersection between two major roads like 35 and 36, there's a lot of reading to do. Yes, the area around Newark Airport is bad. So is the area around the Parkway/9/Woodbridge.


    Quote Originally Posted by JerseyDevil
    I've never had any trouble getting cherry tomatoes in NJ. I don't think I've ever seen them grown at the farms too much, at least at their roadside stands, but I see them at the grocery stores all the time.
    Huh. I have yet to see them in major grocery stores. I've looked for them in A&P, Acme, Whole Foods, and Super Food Town. Maybe it's a seasonal thing, but I've had to go to specialty places like Delicious Orchards and Sickles Market to get them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shu Chow
    Huh. I have yet to see them in major grocery stores. I've looked for them in A&P, Acme, Whole Foods, and Super Food Town. Maybe it's a seasonal thing, but I've had to go to specialty places like Delicious Orchards and Sickles Market to get them.
    I realize this board is about transportation, but as an avid Jersey gardener I need to respond to the cherry tomato issue ; ) If you're having trouble finding them and you don't garden, try growing a bush or two in pots. All they need is lots of sun, water, and a little fertilizer...and you'll have cherry tomatos all summer long.

    Debbie
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    Hi everyone. As regards jug handles I grasped the concept the first time I saw one. I figured it was to divert traffic and I think it is a good idea. There is a lot of traffic to move. As for the circles I suppose they are for the same purpose. I live in California and we have one of those circles here. I imagine there are more but I have not seen any more. My son accepted a job offer in NJ 2 years ago and I have visited 2 times and am going again in May. I am one of those people who wish I lived there it is so beautiful there. Ofcourse I am actually an easterner anyway being born and raised in Maryland. I am sure I could I could get used to driving in NJ although it is different. I have driven the freeways of Los Angeles. lol. I am in Central Calif. The jug handle is a unique idea. I wonder who thought of it. Marianita

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    New Jersey Ambassador Admin & Founder JerseyDevil's Avatar
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    Welcome Marianita

    It's great that you come all the way from California to NJ to vacation. Had you ever been to NJ before your son moved here? and if not - what were your thoughts of NJ before that?
    New Jersey is the only state honored by two resorts at Walt Disney World. The Beach Club Resort, modeled after Historic Cape May and The Boardwalk Resort, after Atlantic City. If the Jersey Shore is good enough for Walt Disney to recreate, isn't the REAL Jersey Shore even better for you and your family?

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    Hi Jersey devil, I was pleased to get a message from you. Thankyou for the welcome. Actually I had only been to Nj once before my son moved there. I was a little girl and my big brother and his friend ran away to NJ and my father piled us in the car to go bring them home. lol. Once I went to visit my son I was absolutely enchanted. Cape May was like a dream and and there is so much to do there. By the time I left I was already memorizing the name so of many cities and I even named my 2 cats,''Cinnaminson'' and Maple Shade.'' lol. I am already saving for my nexr trip. By the way, have you lived in Jersey all your life? I think it is the most wonderful place on earth.Take care. Marianita

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    Moderator MITHRANDIR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marianita
    By the way, have you lived in Jersey all your life? I think it is the most wonderful place on earth.Take care. Marianita
    JD has not lived in NJ all of his life. IIRC, some of the places he has lived in are Oregon and Indiana. You can probably guess which place he likes the most though.

    I think driving in NJ is much easier than driving on the freeways surrounding LA. (mainly due to traffic volume)

    I agree with you that Cape May is very nice. If you have time, the ferry ride to Lewis, DE is a nice trip. (~70 min.)

    I am not sure who invented the jughandle, but according to the NY Times, NJ had 160 Jughandles by January 2, 1962.

    Driver Trying to Turn Left Isn't Balked by Lane of Cars; Economical Device Is Used at 160 Places on Jersey Roads
    By JOSEPH C. INGRAHAM. New York Times (1857-Current file).
    New York, N.Y.: Jan 2, 1960. pg. 15, 1 pgs

    Document types: article
    ISSN/ISBN: 03624331
    Text Word Count 549
    Document URL:

    Abstract (Document Summary)

    A "jughandle'' has come to the aid of motorists on older New Jersey highways.
    Sincerely,
    Anthony


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    Quote Originally Posted by MITHRANDIR
    JD has not lived in NJ all of his life. IIRC, some of the places he has lived in are Oregon and Indiana. You can probably guess which place he likes the most though.
    Hey - it was NOT by choice. I was forced out of the state - kicking and screaming - by my parents. Actually after one year they did offer to allow me to live with my grandmother in NJ - but I stuck it out to be with my family. Now I am very happily back in NJ though. I have lived in 6 states, San Diego California, Salem West Virginia, Seymour Indiana, Portland Oregon, Chicago Illinois and of course NJ (several places). However I grew up in NJ and don't remember much of anything while living out in California - although I have been back there a bunch of times (I was ony 1 year old back then).

    (This is off topic)
    Marianita - I've never really heard of anyone "running off" to NJ like your brother and his friend did. Why did they choose NJ or was he just on his way to NY? Most people seem to run off to NY - have no idea other than it's the romantc image they see in the movies (obviously nothing like the real life ).

    Did you know what to expect when you came out for the first time as an adult or were you surprised by NJ? Even though I think our tourism slogan is still a bit weak - it does fit for the time being "New Jersey: Come See for Yourself". People who actually come to NJ and take the time to explore the state - find it to be very beautiful (lush green mountains in the northwest, pine forests in the south, beautiful beaches and great colonial towns). Often they're very shocked by how wooded it is and all the wild animals around. It's so great to hear someone from outside NJ be so excited about NJ and love the state so much.

    BTW - congrats - you reached your 10th post so you are now officially a "Recent Resident"

    (back on topic)
    Even though Jug Handles can be a pain - I prefer them to the traffic mess we would have if we only just had left hand turns. Actually I hd heard that jug handles are spreading to other states now. At the Princeton Junction Train Station a couple of years ago - there were a couple of people discussing Jug Handles, they were foreigners - and they were saying that Australia had them too. I don't think they particularly liked them though.
    New Jersey is the only state honored by two resorts at Walt Disney World. The Beach Club Resort, modeled after Historic Cape May and The Boardwalk Resort, after Atlantic City. If the Jersey Shore is good enough for Walt Disney to recreate, isn't the REAL Jersey Shore even better for you and your family?

    Things to do in NJ: Attraction Guide
    Where to Stay in NJ: Hotel Guide
    What's Happening in NJ: Event Guide
    NJ Visitor & Vacation Guide Request Form

    AboutNewJersey.com on Facebook
    The Jersey Shore on Facebook


    New Jersey Proud!
    Let's GO RUTGERS and New Jersey Devils!!!
    The Proud to be New Jersey Teams!


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