Traffic change causes headaches on NJ road

WEST WINDSOR, N.J. - August 17, 2012

Transportation officials have closed two jug handles on Route 1 to help ease congestion. Those closures mean new restrictions on left and u-turns at Washington Rd. and Harrison St. along Route 1 in West Windsor and Plainsboro.

The confusion started when the DOT recently began a 12-week pilot program to ease congestion. With jug handles blocked, motorists are forced to drive miles out of their way and are none too happy about it.

"When you have to get to work you have to go all the way down, you have to make a u-turn and come all the way back up," said Geneva Saye of Darby, Pa.

"It's just very inconvenient, very inconvenient, and you just try to find ways around it," said Matt Spina of Levittown, Pa.

Closing the jug handles to stop traffic from backing up has been a disaster for a normally busy Getty Station on Route 1 North.

"We used to do approximately 8,000 plus gallons a day. Now we've dipped down to 4,000 gallons," said station owner Sunny Singh.

Singh says he just bought this station 3 months ago, but if the closures continue he doesn't see how his business can survive.

"It's been very difficult. I mean, from the last week and a half, it's going downhill every day," said Singh.

The story's the same at the AT&T store near Washington Rd.

"It's driving numbers down, we've lost a lot. Probably up to 40% of our business because of it," said store owner Mike Zita.

Merchants and commuters may be annoyed but the DOT says it's already seeing results.

"We're seeing more flow, better flow on Route 1. Less congestion, which is exactly what the trial is all about," said Joe Dee of NJ DOT.

NJ DOT will review the data at the end of the trial and if there's a big difference in traffic flow they'll look to make the changes permanent.

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