Senator looks to end New Jersey jughandles

February 6, 2013 5:39:19 AM PST
Jughandles.

We've all seen them, all driven around them, but to folks not from New Jersey they don't seem to make much sense.

"They definitely get confused. They don't really understand how it operates to say go up make a right so you can make a left," Bordentown resident Gunner Benedict said.

"My husband comes from California and he said, 'I don't know. I got on this thing they call a teacup handle or something.' I go, 'It's a jughandle honey.' I said, 'Get used to them,'" Suzann Sburgin of Chesterfield said.

Jersey's jughandles, originally designed to get turning traffic off major roads, have even inspired songs of frustration.

Ocean County State Senator Jim Holzapfel says waiting through three or four light changes to get around the Hooper Avenue jughandle on Route 37 in Toms River is his personal hell.

"I think it's taken a couple years off my life because of the aggravation."

He's pushing a bill to ban future construction of jughandles in New Jersey.

"It's just a waste of tax dollars. It's not making it safer for people who travel the road. It's kind of like circles used to be, we're slowly but surely getting rid of them," Holzapfel said.

Senator Holzapfel would rather see left-hand turn lanes built than the endless spaghetti of looping right-hand ramps you'll find on roads all over the state.

What do drivers say?

"They are a disaster. They need to get rid of all the jughandles. People don't pay attention, people don't look, don't stop, don't yield," Sheri Friends of Chesterfield said.

"Around here we are used to it; it's just kind of the way we drive around," Vince Dubaniewicz of Bordentown said.

Singer Jason Didner knows all too well.

"You can't get there from here in New Jersey. I got a case of jughandle turn around overload," he said...well, sang.


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