Should Jughandles Be Taken Out In New Jersey?
Jughandles...yes or no?
So yeah, we make three rights to turn left. Chances are, you’ve had a visitor rant and rave right at you over jughandles (like you built them). That’s your cue to passively say “well...ya just gotta take the Jersey left” and watch their head explode. Why exactly do we have jughandles and will they be phased out? I’ve got the answers…
I think one of the first jughandles ever installed was near Monmouth Park Racetrack… which dates back to the late '50s. After that, jughandles took over like wildfire...160 were put in Jersey within a 10-year span and today we have over 600.
There are some problems with that...
1. Jughandles are built too short to handle Jersey's horrible traffic flow which makes for tons of congestion. That is dangerous because people who are not paying attention can start a domino accident effect reeeeeal easy.
2. Jughandles are built too narrow and too tight for humongous commercial trucks...I've seen a tractor go up and over the jug curbing just to get through it. Not good.
3. Land in Jersey is finite. We are not making more real estate anytime soon. If there's open land that could be used for a commercial space/storefront, jughandles eat that space up.
4. Worst of all as far as I'm concerned, if you miss your turn and you need to "go around and come back" with Jersey rush hour traffic, it has literally tacked on 30 minutes (or more) to my drive. People who realize this mistake a nano-second before they actually make it, will no doubt cut over and try to catch it while going 70 mph and that is a horrifying situation. The cost is too steep for people, we have a shortage of time here and you can't take on that kind of a time suck.
Granted, if you're from here you get used to it...I had to live in other states for stretches and I thought it was crazy they didn't have them (but I got used to it pretty quick).
The powers that be say that jughandles "eliminate the dangerous left turn across lanes of oncoming traffic" therefore saving lives. I guess...but they cause problems just as much. Dare I say if we are keeping them, maybe we need more of them? This way you are not driving a half-hour out of your way to turn around if you mess up? Maybe the ones we have just need to have more lanes and be wider? There are currently no plans to take them out all together so we have to buckle in and get comfortable with it. Just stay alert on the roads! Grrrrr....